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During a time of uncertainly for the Suncorp Super Netball season, our fans and the netball community have waited patiently for the season to start. With the announcement that the season will commence on 1 August, there is now something to be excited about. 

Our Stories is a series of eight short documentaries that tell the tales of eight remarkable athletes in Suncorp Super Netball.  

This is the world’s premier domestic netball competition and it is a convergence of leading athletes from all corners of the country and the world. 

These stories, presented by Suncorp Team Girls, share challenges that have been overcome, daily struggles, commitment, determination, the quest to be the best they can be and allow us to get to know some of the incredible people who support the dreams of these athletes. 

From Diamonds players, to international athletes who have come to Australia for this elite competition, to those who are up and coming, just joining the ranks of Suncorp Super Netball, these stories invite you to See What We’re Made Of. 

This series will be released over the four weeks leading into the Suncorp Super Netball season from Monday 6 July. 

1. Layla Guscoth

Adelaide Thunderbirds co-captain Layla Guscoth made the most of the suspended 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season this year, returning home to England, swapping her Thunderbirds dress for scrubs and joining the battle against COVID-19. 

In the new Suncorp Super Netball Our Stories series, Guscoth, a qualified medical doctor, shares her experiences on the frontline as well as her incredible journey to becoming both a professional netballer and qualified doctor. 

Guscoth, who made her debut for the England Roses in 2012, also shares her journey to the Adelaide Thunderbirds, detailing a missed Commonwealth Games gold medal with England in 2018 after taking three years off netball to complete her studies, a snapped Achilles tendon at the 2019 Netball World Cup and an overwhelming want to lead her Adelaide Thunderbirds to glory in 2020. 

This feature is the first of eight Our Stories episodes which will share the remarkable personal tales behind eight of the league’s athletes, detailing the challenges they have overcome and commitment they have shown to be elite athletes within the world’s premier netball league. 

Visit the Our Stories Hub.

Visit the Suncorp Super Netball website.

Visit the Adelaide Thunderbirds website.

2. Gabby Sinclair

In episode 2 of Our Stories we get to know Gabby Sinclair of Collingwood Magpies Netball, and see what she is made of.

Gabby’s ‘never give up’ attitude, pure passion and love of the game made her dream of playing Suncorp Super Netball a reality. The 2018 Australian Netball League Grand Final was her turning point.

2018 Gabby missed out on team selection with the Tasmanian Magpies. Her persistence enabled her to train with the team despite any guarantee of game play.

Due to an injury, the opportunity arose for Gabby to take court during the Grand Final and in turn contribute to the Tasmanian Magpies 2018 premiership success. A career highlight for the shooter.

It was this sole performance that caught the eye of Collingwood coach Rob Wright, who rewarded Gabby with a promotion and contract for the 2019 Super Netball season. She has since re-signed for 2020. 

In 2019 the 26-year-old acted as a third attacking option in the goal circle, developing and working in partnership with Nat Medhurst and Shimona Nelson.

This season the stage set to fill the shoes of one of the games’ greatest Goal Attacks in Nat Medhurst, who will take time away from court to welcome her first child.

Stay tuned for the next installation of Our Stories out 14 July

Visit the Our Stories Hub.

Visit the Collingwood Magpies Netball Website

3. Courtney Bruce

Courtney Bruce, captain of West Coast Fever and a member of the Australian Diamond squad features in Episode 3 of Our Stories.

Courtney’s story is a true local girl turned hometown hero. 

Her rise to becoming one of the Australian Diamond’s most important players hasn’t meant she has forgotten where she came from. Whether it be giving back to the local WA netball community or driving excellence with the Fever, she puts her heart into whatever she does. 

However, this comes with a flip side where passion can translate to pressure and her mind becomes an obstacle to her endeavours. Anxiety has had an impact on her particularly early in her career and while she previously saw it as a sign of weakness, she now views it as a sign of strength and strives to help other young athletes.

Courtney represents everything Australians love in sport. A local player going on to Captain the Suncorp Super Netball team in her state and giving back to the grassroots community whilst at it. She is proud of the city she lives in and the passion they have for the West Coast Fever. Despite falling just short in the 2018 Grand Final she take great pride that the city turned green for them and that the passion from the Fever fans was unquestionable.

In this episode you can see what Courtney Bruce is made of.

Visit the Our Stories Hub.

Visit the West Coast Fever website

Secure tickets to tomorrow’s game at the RAC Arena where West Coast Fever take on the WA All-Stars:

4. Sarah Klau

In Episode 4 of Our Stories we see what NSW Swifts and Australian Diamonds defender Sarah Klau is made of.

After making her elite debut with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Sarah left her home state of South Australia and ventured to Sydney when Suncorp Super Netball replaced the trans-Tasman Netball League in 2017.

Despite being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and having to manage the disease 24/7, both physically and mentally, Sarah has never taken a backward step. Instead, her netball career has thrived and now she’s regarded as one of the premier defenders in world netball.

The NSW Swifts caused the biggest upset in Suncorp Super Netball history, taking out the 2019 Grand Final against the Sunshine Coast Lightning despite not having won a game against the back-to-back Premiers all season. For Sarah, who had just come back from representing Australia at the 2019 Netball World Cup in England, it would be a career-defining game.

She dominated the much-fancied Lightning attack in a Grand Final performance for the ages. Now she has made Sydney her home away from home, living with a number of Swifts teammates including fellow South Australians captain Maddy Proud, and Diamonds defender Maddy Turner

While a diagnosis could have knocked her off track, it only proved she was made of something special: resilience.

Visit the Our Stories Hub.

Visit the NSW Swifts website

5. Cara Koenen

Living on a small tourism island in far north Queensland wasn’t going to stop Cara Koenen reaching her potential of becoming an elite netballer. 

Growing up in a sporting family on Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville, Cara’s parents own the local newsagency. She would catch the ferry every day for school, often not arriving home until 11.30pm following training, and despite her parents having to get up early to run their business this didn’t stop them staying up late to support their children. 

Cara Koenen got her break as a foundation player for the Sunshine Coast Lightning in 2017, however in the first two seasons spent much of her time on the sideline. 

Things would change in 2019, during which she saw more court time including in the Grand Final and she began to see value in what she had given to the team in the first two years. 

With less than two weeks until the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season, it is not long until we will again see what Cara Koenen is made of. 

Visit the Sunshine Coast Lightning Website 

Visit the Our Stories Hub

6. Jamie-Lee Price

Jamie-Lee Price knows what it takes to be a champion athlete. As the daughter of an NRL legend, premiership winning captain and Australian representative player Steve Price, she is very familiar with what it takes to achieve sporting success.

However, Jamie-Lee is determined to carve her path and be known for her own success. Having lived in New Zealand since a young age she moved through the netball system across the Tasman, making a major decision whether to return home or to play for GIANTS Netball and join Julie Fitzgerald to create a new team in the Suncorp Super Netball competition.

The decision paid off for her. Not only was she a starting player for the GIANTS who made the Grand Final in their first year, but she was also selected in the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup to represent Australia and was named player of the tournament.

But it didn’t end there, soon catching the eye of the Australian Diamonds selectors, she had the opportunity to pull on the green and gold at the international level, travelling to Liverpool for the 2019 Netball World Cup.

A fierce competitor, who at the age of 24 has so much more to come. In Episode 6 of Our Stories we see what Jamie-Lee Price is made of.

Vist the GIANTS Netball Website

Visit the Our Stories Hub.

7. Jemma Mi Mi

Jemma Mi Mi never saw herself as being anything more than a bench warmer for the team that she dreamt of playing for – the Queensland Firebirds. 

Coming from an extremely close sporting family, Jemma and her four sisters have a competitive bond. Dad coached them in touch football growing up while Mum looked after all things netball. 

But despite this she still lacked self-belief that she could make it at the top level of the game. Jemma now channels the lack of confidence that she had into empowering and educating young indigenous girls in her role as a co-ordinator for the Diamond Spirit program. 

Along with the Diamond Spirit program, Suncorp Super Netball Indigenous Round is something that Jemma is incredibly passionate about. It is an opportunity for her and the Queensland Firebirds to celebrate Indigenous culture and further inspire the young indigenous girls that she mentors to get out of their comfort zone and grow as individuals. 

In Episode 7 of Our Stories we see what Jemma Mi Mi is made of.

Visit the Queensland Firebirds Website

Visit the Our Stories Hub.

8. Mwai Kumwenda

In the final episode of Our Stories we see what Mwai Kumwenda’s of the Melbourne Vixens is made of.

MJ, as she is known grew up on dirt courts in Malawi playing with balls made of melted plastic bags and string, and goal posts constructed from cut down trees with old tyres attached as rings.

Playing shoeless, this was no normal breeding ground for a Suncorp Super Netball superstar. However in 2009, the Peninsula Waves Netball Club began its search for a tall target shooter and decided to look outside the square. Waves then Specialist Coach, Maxine Wauchope was in the Cook Islands at the time of the 2009 World Youth Championships and was quick to recognise the enormous talent of this young 20-year-old from Malawi.

MJ came to Australia knowing no-one and Shelley Haynes from Waves took her under her wing and from there MJ thrived and has achieved her dreams of playing for the Melbourne Vixens.

Despite her success she will never forget where she comes from. When MJ goes home to Malawi, she loves to visit and help out at local schools, giving them uniforms, books, and school bags to replace their plastic shopping bags, also sponsoring girls in high school to give them their best chance.

Suncorp Super Netball starts 1 August.

Visit the Melbourne Vixens Website

Visit the Our Stories Hub.

Suncorp Super Netball Round 1