Courtney Elliott has just been selected in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball team for the second year running.
The Tai Wananga (Hamilton) Year 13 student is also in the new Waikato-Bay of Plenty squad for the new five-team Beko Netball League series that got under way this past weekend, one of several school girls playing in this competition.
Specialist defender Courtney has a big future on the netball court.
But first, a yarn about one of her other sporting interests in the ring.
“I had my first Muay Thai [kickboxing] fight about a month ago,” Courtney told College Sport Media. “It was so fun, just the adrenalin made it awesome.”
She won too. “Having done karate, this is so much different. In karate we wear pads but in Muay Thai the only thing I had protecting me was my mouthguard, so I was really nervous. I was fighting a woman a few years older than me. It was a 74kg division bout and I weighed in at 71.8 and she was 74.5kg. But I won. It went the full three rounds.”
Courtney said this is something she is keen to do again - but at the moment she is concentrating on netball.
Courtney and the NZSS netball team goes into camp this coming Friday, ahead of the International School Girls Competition in the first week of term two in early May.
The other defenders in the team are Lily Marshall (St Margaret’s College), Elle Temu (MAGS) and Antonia Hei Hei (Te Rito Manukura).
“I’ve played with, or against, a lot of these players before, so it’s cool that we’re playing together. I played with Sydney Fraser (St Kentigern College) and Tiana Metuarau (Wellington East Girls' College) in this NZSS team last year.”
Last year’s NZSS teammate and fellow defender Holly Fowler debuted for the Northern Mystics in the opening round of the ANZ Championship, while goal shoot Maia Wilson recently played her first game for the Central Pulse.
Courtney’s pleased to be in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty squad in the inaugural BEKO Netball League Series. “Our first game is this weekend in Rotorua but I’m not going to be there for the opener as I’ll be in the NZSS camp.” All going well she will play her first game for that side next week.
In club netball she plays for Waikato University this year in the Super 14 competition, after playing for Fraser Tech last season. The Super 14 competition is a combined Auckland-Waikato club competition.
Last November she won the Netballer of the Year award at the 2015 Waikato Secondary School Sports Awards.
She’s been playing netball most of her life. “I used to play as a shooter for my school team and then as a defender for representative teams. I ruled out shooting and just play defence now.”
How does she fit everything in?
“I also used to play softball [as a national age-grade representative] and loved that. But I was also really enjoying netball so concentrated on that.
“I have two trainings or practices a day for everything, sometimes more. I play netball on Monday nights and Friday afternoons and I’m usually competing in tournaments or competitions in the weekends, it’s pretty full on!”
She thanks her mum. “She is my alarm,” she joked. “Mum manages me and reminds me all the time, do this, do that, and I’m there!”
Courtney is also extremely grateful for the endless support that she receives from her family, especially her favourite uncle Ken who is without a doubt her Number one fan.
It’s a big year ahead for Courtney, but she said that next year she’s definitely keen to go to university and hopes to get a scholarship.
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