Gladstone girls begin State Age Championships
NETBALL: Gladstone has taken a busload of junior netballers to the State Age Championship held in Brisbane this week.
The five-day representative carnival is for the under-12 to U15 age groups with Gladstone taking teams of nine in each of the four age divisions.
A record 233 teams, comprising of more than 2330 players, are competing at the State Age, which is being hosted by the Pine Rivers Netball Association.
One of the sides expected to perform strongly during the carnival is the Gladstone U14 side coached by Kristi Bourke.
Bourke placed particular emphasis on fitness prior to the carnival, taking her side to crossfit sessions in order to have them in peak condition for the school holiday carnival.
"We've been training since October last year doing crossfit,” Bourke said.
"It's a five-day carnival and they haven't had to play that long before, so we'll rely on our extra fitness to keep going.
"The girls fit, fast and raring to go.”
Bourke's side made a slow start in the opening day of competition yesterday, but she said her girls improved dramatically by their third and final match of the day.
Gladstone lost 26-20 to Downey Park in game one, defeated Capricorn Coast 17-7 in the second and won 27-12 against Queensland Catholic in the third.
"They were a bit rusty in the first game but have found their mojo since then,” she said.
"We fixed some niggles in the second games, were outstanding in the third with all nine players playing very well.
"It will be good to see where we pit ourselves against the Brisbane teams.”
The majority of U14 side played together in U13s the season before so team chemistry isn't an issue.
"They're a team who get really nervous, but it's only because they have high expectations on themselves,” Bourke added.