Yaralla Falcon's Amy Harte in a battle with Valleys Star's Tracey Calis.
Yaralla Falcon's Amy Harte in a battle with Valleys Star's Tracey Calis.

Life membership for a Gladstone netball stalwart

NETBALL: On the netball and basketball courts and on the hockey pitch, you can see the competitor in Tracey Calis' eyes.

BITTER-SWEET RIVALS: Long-serving players Tracey Calis from Valleys Stars and Yaralla Falcons Melanie Dyball will play for premiership glory tomorrow night.
BITTER-SWEET RIVALS: Long-serving players Tracey Calis from Valleys Stars and Yaralla Falcons Melanie Dyball will play for premiership glory tomorrow night.

It's that spirit that was recognised recently at the Gladstone Valleys Netball Club when Calis was awarded life membership.

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Calis started out as a Devil where she spent 10 years from age six before her next move.

"I went over to Valleys in 1991 where I have been for 29 years," she said.

"I got involved in netball because my mum played."

Over the journey, which will not end anytime soon, Calis has completed a long list of accomplishments though she struggled to single out anyone in particular.

"There have been many highlights and it's hard to pinpoint just one," she said.

"Winning state titles, making the carnival team at state titles, making the state squads for under-15 and under-17, playing for Capricorn Claws and of course grand final wins."

Calis has seen a number of changes in the game for almost three decades as a player.

"Uniforms have definitely changed, rules have changed and we used to play on Saturdays but that changed to Tuesdays. The number of girls that played back then is way more then what are playing now," she said.

"With netball being a non-contact sport, the game has got a lot more physical now than when it was back then."

So what drives Calis to continue playing at such a high standard?

"My love for the game and the fact my body can still handle playing at such a high standard," she said.

"I also get to play with my daughter Zoe.

"People kept asking me when I was going to retire and I said when I get to play A-grade with my daughter.

Tracey Calis
Tracey Calis

"I've done that for two years going on three and I still haven't retired, plus I don't think the association would allow me to play in a lower grade."

Calis said the lifelong friendships she has made on and off the court were something she will treasure forever.

Devilicious Red's Carla Riggs gets attention from Lions 2 Tracey Calis.
Devilicious Red's Carla Riggs gets attention from Lions 2 Tracey Calis.

And it's not just being a player from which she gets satisfaction.

"I have been coached by some amazing coaches and what I learnt from them, I have put that into my coaching role at the club," she said.

"I have given my time to coaching girls for the past 13 years. I have been a representative manager for eight years and I also umpire."



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