Alice Springs Wrap with Sharni Norder

Hey there NETFITTERS, Sharni Norder here! I just wanted to give you a quick wrap of my time in Alice Springs recently and the beautiful, positive experience and energy we experienced from our amazing time there.

Some of you may have seen that I joined the NETFIT team in Alice last year for a NEON-inspired netball festival. We were embraced by the community, we managed to explore and enjoy the amazing culture, landscape and environment that Central Australia has to offer and I am not going to lie, we jammed a fair bit of netball in there too. We literally had the best time ever.

Through that amazing experience we fell in love with Alice Springs and its people, so we were desperate to return again in 2023…I am so thankful that we did.

Our long-weekend of netball started with some TID work, and we were delighted to see some of the girls from last year’s squad return, along with a few new faces. I loved putting them through their paces defensively and saw them put their training into action during their Friday night games. That effort carried through the weekend and after Sunday’s session with them they had improved out of sight with higher intensity training and higher quality of footwork and ball skills.

Grace, Nellie & I joined in on up-and-coming Sunshine Coast Lightning gun Nat Sligar’s running session and both girls kept up to the elite pace! Keep an eye out for these two upcoming NT Stars at the Carnivals this year. On that, the Central girls only get one session with their team before Nationals, which is a huge disadvantage compared to some of the other programs. We have a way to go in helping bridge the gap and providing more opportunities for all players in the NT, however their future is bright as I can see their growth from 12 months ago and feel that they will surprise a few teams. Even as a proud Victorian I will be cheering and wishing them all the best at Nationals.

It was great spending time with the kids from Yipirinya again. It was a highlight last year and blew me away again this year. Seeing their wide eyes as they walk into the beautiful ASNA stadium, having the best time playing games is such a rewarding experience. Seeing close-up the talent that these kids possess blows me away every time! They have a natural ability and talent that can’t be taught…that intuitive nature and movement really is something to behold.

NETFIT SPLASH was a BALL! In 40 degree heat we had fun, got active and used water balloons as balls. It was definitely my vibe and to see so many happy, smiling faces in the crowd was such a thrill. Really fills the cup up.

Whether it was the NETSETGO kids who were full of energy and life, loving the one-hand shooting drills Mel taught them! (I promise you Mel, I’ll convert them to art of defence one day!), to being able to mentor the coaches on game day Friday and Saturday…this trip was a blast. I was delighted to see Alice Springs netball and the community in general thriving, happy and healthy off the back of so much negative press recently.

From Standley Chasm to Emily Gorge. It’s great for this city girl to get out and smell the fresh air. I never feel more grounded than when I’m in Alice Springs and thanks for Jenny Hamilton and Debra Gray who teach us so much about Alice and its wider community. I love you all.

For those of you reading at home. If you haven’t been to the NT…put it on your radar. It will blow you away.

Until next time. Sharni

*** Sidenote, a huge shout out to The Sports Bra Project  who supplied free brand new sports bras from all the best brands to make female sport in the NT more accessible.