Head girl makes top team

St Peter’s School’s head girl Georgie Edgecombe has made the New Zealand Secondary Schools netball team. Photo – Michael Jeans.

St Peter’s School’s head girl Georgie Edgecombe is on top of the world after being named on the New Zealand Secondary Schools netball team.

The Year 13 student will join the Kiwis in a test against their Australian and English counterparts in an international age-grade series in Canberra, October 1 – 5.

“I was pretty surprised,” Georgie said of finding out the news. “It was pretty unexpected because I injured myself at the tournament where they were really selecting it from… But I’m really excited.”

Georgie’s acceptance into the team came following a five-day camp in January, where selectors watched a group of about 60 players from around the country learn new skills from specialist coaches and regional netball team players, which were then applied across several games. “That was pretty cool,” said Georgie.

Selectors also looked at players during the National Age Group Championships in July.

“The athletes named in the New Zealand Secondary Schools team have stood out at a number of events and we’re looking forward to working with them to help them take that next step,” said the team’s coach Mary-Jane Araroa. “This is such an important age-group for the development of netball in New Zealand and it’s exciting to help these players realise their potential.

“It is always a challenge to play Australian teams but we’re looking forward to that challenge with this exciting group of athletes.”

Georgie says she’s ready to prove her worth with the national squad. Photo – Michael Jeans.

Georgie was just one of 23 players out of the 60 girls at the January camp to make the cut. Despite being “blown away” by the news, after the team was announced in the past fortnight, Georgie said she’s ready to prove her worth with the squad. “It’s pretty exciting, seeing your hard work pay off,” she said. “I’m just ready to get going and put everything I’ve got out there.”

The goal-keep and goal-defence position player has been involved in netball for years, taking up the sport at the minimum age in Year 3 at Rototuna Primary School. Since then she’s been part of the Hamilton City Representative teams for the past seven years.

“I started off just because I really enjoyed it with my friends,” she explained, “and I just love playing it.

“I’m a pretty competitive person, I like to win,” she smiled. “It’s pretty cool to match up against different players and see how you can go against them.

“It will be cool to see what other countries are like … to get experience playing at a national level against players who are at a really high level as well.”

The New Zealand team will meet up for a training camp during the last weekend of September before departing across the ditch in early October.

Looking beyond the tournament, Georgie said she hopes to eventually make a regional team, the Waikato Magic netball team. “I’ve grown up watching them so it would be cool to play on the team,” she said, adding that if all goes to plan she’d love to join the Silver Ferns.

But for now, stepping in the right direction towards that ultimate goal, Georgie said she’s rapt with making the national secondary school team.

“You kind of dream of it and then it comes round and it’s like, surreal.”

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