USC student athletes look set to play a big part in the fortunes of the USC Thunder squad this year as the 2021 HART Sapphire and Ruby Netball Series both begin this weekend.
There are now nine USC students in the two Thunder teams that compete in the Queensland premier netball competitions, which together provide a development pathway for players into the Suncorp Super Netball league.
Joining the Thunder this year are five first-year USC students – Brianna Martyn (Secondary Education/Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies), Sarah Harris (Nursing Science), Gemma Cowin (Nursing Science), Ashlee Barnett (Secondary Education/Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies) and Chloe Bingham (Primary Education)
They will train alongside continuing USC students Binnian Hunt (Business Management), Annabelle Lawrie (Secondary Education/Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies), Amy Metcalf (Environmental Management) and Mary-Ellen Bonser (Clinical Exercise Physiology).
Thunder’s Sapphire and Ruby teams will both take on the CLC Tigers at Morayfield this Sunday (18 April) and will play their first home games of the season at USC Stadium against the USQ Jets in Round 4 on May 8.
Thunder Operations Manager Ellie Meyer said the student athletes were thoroughly enjoying the experience of being semi-professional athletes while studying.
“The university is providing great assistance to all of these athletes through its High Performance Student Athlete program,” she said. “It has been very accommodating and has aided the players in pursuing both their careers and their sporting ambitions.
“The squad trains mornings and evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and many of the students have arranged their classes for those days so they can train, study and train again without having to leave campus.”
— Terry Walsh
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