The Samsung Australian Diamonds netball side is set to shine after fine-tuning their preparations at a training camp hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast this week.
The Diamonds, who take on the England Roses tomorrow (Saturday 26 August) in the first of the Netball Quad Series, have spent the past four days using the USC Stadium’s netball court, gym, and recovery facilities.
Head Coach Lisa Alexander said the range of sport facilities at USC – as well as its proximity to the beach – made it the perfect place to get ready for the hotly contested tournament.
“We’ve been preparing in a decentralised format so far, and this camp was a critical time to reset ourselves physically and mentally for our performance,” she said.
“I think we’re very fortunate to have such world class facilities in a regional area. There’s a great court and gym, and the USC team understands our high-performance needs, due to their backing of the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
“The great part is that even though we’ve been busy, we’ve been able to go to the beach for recovery, to take some time and contemplate – you can’t measure how important that is.
“I really want to thank the USC and Sunshine Coast community for welcoming us and giving us such a great environment to train in.”
Ms Alexander said two players from the USC-based Sunshine Coast Lightning, Kelsey Browne and Laura Scherian, stepped up as training partners during the Diamonds camp.
Newly-appointed Diamonds captain and Lightning shooter Caitlin Bassett, who is also a USC student, said she loved showing her national teammates around her new home.
“It was amazing to have the girls come here and get to experience what we have at the uni and around the Coast,” she said.
“I think they were quite impressed by the fact that we’ve got everything here in one place – all the training, strength and testing facilities.
“This camp was all about us coming back together and connecting as a team, and I think that’s what will make all the difference in the Quad Series tournament.”
The Diamonds’ first test match will be held tomorrow (Saturday 26 August) in Brisbane, followed by matches against New Zealand and South Africa on 30 August and 3 September.
Limited tickets to the match are available at ticketek.com.au, and the game will be broadcast live on Nine.
— Gen Kennedy
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