Shooting to be in NZSS

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 09:09 06/11/2012
06-KPN-risingWEB

RISING STAR: Porirua netballer Whitney Souness took out the emerging player award at the recent Wellington prizegiving, to cap off an outstanding season.

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Whitney Souness eats and sleeps netball, and she shows no sign of letting up.

The Elsdon 17-year-old Wellington rep turned out for her St Mary's senior A side, a Cook Strait selection team, her Northern United club and was part of Netball Wellington's high performance programme this year.

So while you might think the summer is a time to consider a rest - or even another sport - that's not the case.

"We have trials for the New Zealand Secondary Schools (NZSS) team in December, and that's a big goal for me," Whitney says.

"I'd love to be in that squad for my final year [at school]."

The Mungavin netball courts hold good memories for Whitney: It is where she learnt the game with clubmates and family.

She tries to turn out for her Norths club when possible, as long as it doesn't clash with rep commitments.

Whitney started out as a shooter but believes her future lies in the midcourt.

"I'm not tall enough to stay in the goal circle, so I think a position like wing attack would suit me."

At the height of the netball season, Whitney is either playing or training every day except Friday. It's a hectic schedule, with schoolwork a priority, but she is comfortable in achieving a balance.

"You just get used to being so busy. I have to give up a few lunchtimes to catch up. My Mum helps me be organised and my whole family is very supportive."

Her ultimate goal is to one day turn out for the Silver Ferns, but she knows there are plenty of steps before that.

Making NZSS, continuing in the high performance programme and, eventually, pushing for Wellington and Pulse selection are the medium-term aims.

Her St Mary's team came third at a Lower North Island tournament this year, and seventh at nationals in Timaru. And Whitney would love to improve on those results in 2013.

"I just enjoy the game. It's something I've done since I was young and I want to take it as far as I can."

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