Warwick Star Caitlin Skaines Netball Journey

My first memory of netball would have been travelling to Toowoomba with Scots PGC in Warwick when I was 11. I took the court playing as a Goal Shooter and being a swimmer I was very uncoordinated and had no idea what was going on. My swimming coach, Bec, at the time needed more players for her team at Scots so asked if I would go play with them. Very unsure at the time I couldn’t see why it wouldn’t hurt.

I then started Warwick Junior Netball Fixture when I was 12, this built my confidence on the court and still playing Goal Attack and Goal Shooter I loved netball. After a steep learning curve I decided I would trial for the Interdistrict team at age 14, with my coach Jess O’Brien and Dimity Brakin, it was then decided that because of my height at that age I would play a better defence then I would shooting. I played for Warwick until the age of 15/16 and then started playing for the Darling Downs Panthers which was once again a huge eye opener and a great learning experience.

The Warwick netball community has continuously been a supportive and encouraging part of my life. From watching the younger Net Set Go girls, to watching the Warwick Interdistrict teams, the girls show miraculous amounts of sportsmanship and team skills. Lou, Jess, Bec and Dimity have helped me start off my journey of netball and it hasn’t disappointed me once at all.

Although I never went through the Darling Downs Panthers pathways of Cubs and Future Panthers, I have seen some real talent from our five amazing Warwick girls that have been privileged to be apart of these pathways. Lillie Clarke, Abigail Skaines, Alyssa White, Imogen Fox and Shakira Saunders are girls I think other teams should watch out for out there on the netball court!

In the near future my goals are to simply work on my performance. Playing with the Panthers brings new challenges every week and it is great walking away from a training session knowing that I have given everything my absolute best. As any young netballer probably dreams for the future to play for the Firebirds or Lightening it is my goal to represent Queensland at any league.

Over any athletes carrier in their chosen sport they are bound to face disappointments and set backs but I have learnt to face this. If you are unfortunate to miss out on making a team or maybe not get the court time you think you might of had it is important to learn from this. Learn that you can only make yourself better, work hard for what you want and prove to everyone that you are good enough. A quote that I personally love has helped me get over my set backs and work hard. “Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong, that obstacles, failure and loss only act as motivation.”

Being apart of the Panther’s family has been a great experience, being the youngest on the team last year was nerve racking. Playing against ladies almost twice my age was super scary but with a great team playing along side me, having coaches that refused to let us give up and having an amazing crowd of supporters I learnt to get over the nerves rather quickly. Although training can be hard and tiring the skills that I learn along the way are 110% worth it. So my advice for any young and aspiring players is to set yourself a goal and never stop trying until you reach it.

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