Netballer on way to realising dream

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Waitaki Girls’ High School boarder Jennifer O’Connell dreams of one day being a Silver Fern, and with her selection to the Southern Steel development squad in December, she is one step closer.

In early December she received an email from Steel coach Janine Southby and, after initially dismissing it as spam, realised she was getting the call to Steel’s netball development squad.

O’Connell said she “did a wee dance” to celebrate and quickly shared the excitement with her mum.

With several training sessions under her belt, as well as going toe-to-toe with netballers like Jhaniele Fowler, she and her squad took on the Tactix development squad in Timaru on February 8.

“We lost . . . but it was more about getting experience,” she said.

With about six years of netball experience under her belt, the up-and-coming young superstar said her “ultimate goal” was to be a Silver Fern and training with the Southern Steel, and help from her coach, sponsor and school, was making this dream a reality.

Currently, she was working on improving her fitness, as well as keeping a balance of school and sport in her life, she said.

By DAVID DE LOREAN

PHOTO: Waitaki Girls’ boarder Jennifer O’Connell, 16, is an up-and-coming netball superstar – DAVID DE LOREAN