File photo of Grafton?s Verity Simmons who will play in the Australian Under-16 team.
File photo of Grafton?s Verity Simmons who will play in the Australian Under-16 team.

National honours

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.



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