Crampton making up for lost time

STEELY: Gina Crampton.
STEELY: Gina Crampton.

Two years ago Gina Crampton made her trans-Tasman debut for the Southern Steel when Courtney Tairi went down with what would be a season-ending knee injury.

Since then, however, court time has been rare for the former New Zealand under-21 player.

Rather than getting down about it, Crampton is more determined than ever to break her way into Steel's midcourt this season.

''I think it keeps you motivated. It keeps you trying to be better,'' Crampton said.

''I guess [I'm] just really trying to put my all out there and, if the opportunity arises, grab it with both hands. You want to be there all the time and be amongst the business end of things, but all the practice is supposed to be helping me get to that point.''

Crampton has worked hard on her fitness over the summer, diligently following the training programme set by Steel conditioner Simon Jones.

It's of particular interest for Crampton, who graduated from Otago University last year with a degree in personal training and is embarking on post-graduate studies.

Getting a brief introduction to the trans-Tasman competition in 2012 has left Crampton wanting more.

''I guess that keeps the want to get out on court there. I didn't get as many opportunities last year, so hopefully this year will be a bit different.''

Crampton represented New Zealand at under-21 level in 2011, and has captained Otago at age group and senior level.

The Ascot Park Hotel-sponsored Steel will head to Melbourne for the preseason Summer Shootout on February 15 and 16.

The opening game of the season is against last year's beaten grand finalists the Queensland Firebirds on March 2.