2017 State Age Championships

Another State Age Championships has now been and gone.
As one of the largest female sporting events in the southern hemisphere, it is always wonderful to give our Woopi girls the opportunity to savour the unbelievable experience.
From the very beginning of the journey through to the final whistle after 3 gruelling days of play our U12, U13 and U15 teams wore the Woopi colours with immense pride, dedication and determination.
Although success was hard to find, lifelong friendships were made and valuable life skills learnt. It is easy to be a winner but to see our girls cope with disappointment yet continue to smile and display such magnificent team spirit was a credit to every one of you.
Our U12's, despite being wickedly graded into Div 3 and an unsuccessful appeal to have it changed, played their hearts out in every game. To see them striving to achieve and contesting every ball game after game was inspirational. Look out next year with the experience under their belts and appropriate grading.
Despite giving the other teams two years head start the U13's never shirked the task ahead. Winning their first games of the season was truly emotional for the girls and only inexperience cost them further wins. They will bridge the gap to their opposition massively next year and will soar past the majority.
For our U15's it was their 4th and final State Age and hopes were high of finishing with a bang in a very tough Div 3 competition. The girls were highly competitive in every game, leading in so many at half time but like last year narrow losses were frustratingly frequent. Hold your heads high though girls, you were great role models for the young players, you performed so well every year and we wish you the best of luck in the step up to Senior State next year!
Huge congratulations to every one of our players on your fabulous behaviour while travelling, in camp and at the courts. You could not have been better ambassadors for Woopi Netball and your parents should be very, very proud of you!!
Woopi were proudly represented by:-
U12's- Azaly Jurotte-French (captain), Maddison Johnson (vice-captain), Riya Bhorla, Skye Birkett, Mia Decent, Leila Filetti, Lilly Gleeson, Bronte Harris, Sachpreet Kaur and Claudia O'Connor with coach Linda Gleeson and manager Ros Jurotte.
U13's- Alina Sturch (captain), Chelsea Harris (vice-captain), Paris Kelsall (vice-captain), Sophie Chapman-Cole, Hope Christie, Keeley Forster, Macy Gardner, Tayla Murphy, Layne Ortel and Ella Wilson with coach Sandra Thorpe and manager Kim Taylor.
U15's- Rachel Henry (co-captain), Pavan Singh (co-captain), Amy Decent, Tahlia Gillespie, Sarah Goodman, Talisha Harboe, Mehan Mason, Leilani McConville, Madison McVey and Emily Hayes with coach Jamie Henry and manager Janice Bridge.
A big, big thanks also to our wonderful umpires Shari Genoli, Christine Brear and Lani Goodman, Primary Carers Bec Graham, Alana Forster and Karen Henry, our army of parents, siblings and friends for you awesome support of the teams and help with lunches etc and to our always brilliant "chauffeur" Andrew Green.
Our teams would also like to say a huge thanks to their sponsors Safety Beach Bungalows (U12's), Mid North Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic (U13's) and JDR Earthmoving Repairs (U13's and U15's). You guys rock!!
There are always many highlights but for me this year's ones included:-
1) The great camaraderie of the entire tour party.
2) Our hugely popular Sue "Finn the Dolphin" Stabback leading our teams again in the Parade of Districts.
3) Our U13's scoring their first win of the season.
4) Our U12's and 13's at dinner the first night singing along with the soloist at the Golf Club. It made his day, possibly his life :)
5) The U12's going within a whisker of a great win over Cowra....so unlucky girls!!
6) Amy Decent from our 15's being identified by a Netball NSW talent scout.
7) The U15's tense and fiercely contested draw with Coffs &
8) Andrew somehow getting the bus in and out of the Motel car park.
For our tiny association it is difficult to field teams every year yet we will continue to provide the chance for our players to mix it with the best at this wonderful event whenever possible. After being able to send our first U12s since 2014, a new and enthusiastic U13s and our first U11s Development Squad for years waiting in the wings our hopes are high for 3 teams next year and hopefully a first for Woopi Netball in 2019 with teams in all 4 age groups.
Mick Thorpe,
Co Rep Convenor