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©2019 by Darling Downs Panthers.

"Opportunity looks like a bald women"


I have been really wanting to share this with you all, but just been holding back because I hate to be seen as a bragger. But this is so much more than me just being a proud mum…..


My daughter Mia had a rollercoaster couple of days last week. After initially missing out on the Australian U/21 World Youth Cup Squad that was announced late last year, she got a call from the Head Coach inviting her into the squad to attend the 4 day in camp in Canberra last week. With only a couple of days notice she was absolutely elated for the opportunity. Mia is a hardworking, respectful athlete, so the only advice I offered her was that she needed to have the mindset that she wasn’t just an extra, that she had an opportunity to show what she was capable of. Making this team was an ultimate goal for her, and now it just came back within reach of her fingertips. In true Mia style, she went about her business and came back really happy with her performance and feedback.


Fast forward a day or 2, Mia gets a call from the Head Coach of Sunshine Coast Lightening inviting her to play with the team – yes, the REAL team – in a trial game against West Coast Fever on the weekend. The opportunity came about through injuries, but an opportunity is an opportunity and we never look a gift horse in the mouth!


When she rang me to tell me, nearly the first words out of her mouth was “Muuuuuummmm, I get to play with Laura Langman!!!!!”.
It was a closed session, Lightening staff were kind enough to let our family in (plus the extended lot that is Mia’s posse ha!) so I won’t talk too much about the actual game.
What I do need to talk about is the phenomenon that is Laura Langman.


For somebody with such a long, outstanding and stellar playing career, I don’t believe I have ever experienced anybody so humble. Laura spoke to Mia as a peer, encouraged her, guided her, shared banter with her…….and I was just in awe. Sitting courtside and watching her just by leading by example was very special. I believe this was the most powerful experience Mia has had in her netball journey so far.


And the kid played like I have never seen her play before. She took on Internationals without taking a back step. She fit into the Lightening attack end like a glove. You would never have thought she had never had a training session with them. We, her family and extended crew, were so impressed and so proud. I believe it was 100% because of the support she received by the whole of the team and staff who made her feel so welcome.


Off court, she had Steph Wood talking her through the breaks, giving her advice and inspiring confidence in what she was doing. Talking to her on the same level, it was so refreshing. The whole team culture was amazing, the support and positive banter amongst the team as a whole just showed why they have been at the top of their game since the franchise began.


I walked away from that feeling really inspired. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you have been….. the most powerful way to inspire people is to walk alongside them. Share the knowledge, share the experiences…….that’s a true role model.