'SHARING THE LOVE'
NETBALL: Laura Geitz told her mum she wanted to be the Australian Netball captain. She was aged 12 at the time.
Yesterday Geitz had over 100 wide-eyed junior Rockhampton netballers captivated as she told them her story and how she reached the lofty heights.
And what heights they were, a gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, a Silver in Delhi and two gold medals at the Netball World Championships.
The current Australian captain and Queensland Firebirds ace Clare McMeniman ran the Fuel2Fly clinic for two hours yesterday, teaching the youngsters the tricks and trades of the game.
"We are on our way up the coast, heading up as far as Cairns," Geitz explained.
"Just doing our clinics in the regional cities to basically encourage these girls to be healthy and active.
"Netball is the common denominator between all of us and we are just looking to spread some love and helping these girls realise that they can potentially make a career out of netball.
"The sport is in the best place it has ever been so it is just a great opportunity for us when we aren't in season to come out to the bush and give back to communities."
As the girls listened with awe, Geitz spoke of how she too grew up in a small town and the challenges she had to overcome.
She told them of her massive growth spurt and the struggles to find her sporting niche, all the while answering and asking questions.
"When they hear our stories and realise that we weren't a lot different to them at the same age and had similar dreams, they listen," she said.
"It gives them hope that they can make it and that it doesn't matter if they are from the country.
"I am from the Darling Downs, a town of only 800 people called Allora.
"So my message to the kids is that if I can do it, there is no reason why they can't.
"I have no doubt there are future Firebirds coming through the ranks here today."