By TONY WHITE
TALK about icing on the cake.
Grafton High School's dynamic netballer Verity Simmons has just capped off one of the best weeks of her life.
The 15-year-old Year 9 student was an integral member of the victorious NSW Under-16 netball team that beat Victoria 37-29 in the final of the National Championships in Melbourne.
Simmons was excited to receive a gold medal as a momento of the team's performance, but the icing came on Saturday when she was named in the Australian Under-16 netball team for a tour of New Zealand next May.
All Australian team members received a gold trophy.
"It was fantastic NSW winning and I was rapt to get into the Australian team," Simmons said.
Simmons has played netball since she was five years old and first made a NSW team in Year 6 as a 12-year-old.
"I love my netball and I'd love to play for Australia when I get older."
She has been a regular NSW member for the past three years, but national selection only become a possibility from Under-16 onwards.
"It was a long week, but all worth it," Simmons' mother Carol said.
"We're extremely proud of Verity and Marley (Verity's 19-year-old elder sister who is a member of the NSW Institute of Sport NSW squad).
"Verity played so hard all week. This is all really great."
A centre-wing attack, Simmons played outstanding netball for NSW who came back from an earlier defeat by Victoria in the opening round to beat Queensland in the semi-final then Victoria in the final.
The Australian Under-16 team will compete in the Trans Tasman Cup in New Zealand against six other international teams.