Dedication and motivation leads to success, especially in sports like netball. Maddi McLaughlin’s second home is the court and when not at work, she is either training or at the gym working on her fitness. FOCUS recently caught up with her to find out what it takes to make it to the top.
What is your connection to the Coffs Coast?
I was born here in Gumbaynggirr Country and have never lived anywhere else. Most of my family still live here.
When did you start playing netball?
I started playing netball when I was eight years old for Westside Netball Club. After trying many different sports and with my friend’s encouragement to play, I never looked back.
What do you love most about the game?
I love the competitive nature of the game, along with the team atmosphere.
How often do you train?
I train twice a week with my team but also do my own training and fitness in my spare time.
When did you get selected to play at state level?
I was selected at 12 years old in GS and GA Positions.
I have played 12s, 13s, 14s and 15s; we won our division at 15 in Charlestown.
They don’t have 16s teams, but I was selected in the 17s at 16.
I then had a break from Rep to do Year 12 and my HSC and have returned this year in the Coffs Harbour Opens team.
We play regional State League and will compete at state in Newcastle on the long weekend in June.
I also played in the Koori Knockout at Charlestown in 2015 as Captain Coach of my team, the Gumbaynggirr Dolphins. We went through undefeated, only to go down against a more experienced LePerouse side; we hope to improve on this in 2016.
What position do you play?
I now play defence, but can play any position on the court that my coach asks me to play.
What makes a good netball player?
Someone who is a great listener, knows how to take direction and can improve on information they have been given by their coach.
Have you had any injuries?
My first two years of Rep Netball I suffered from Osgood-Schlattler Disease, which is a very painful inflammation of the knees that young adolescents that play sports sometimes suffer from; I have never had any other serious injuries.
Do you have any advice for younger people who are thinking of playing the game?
Netball is a great way to make lifelong friends, to stay fit and healthy and have fun.
What are your plans for the future?
I am having a gap year in 2016, and I’m planning on studying a sport based degree in 2017.