On centre stage
By RODNEY STEVENS
GRAFTON teenager Verity Simmons hopes to be at the centre of the Australian selectors attention following her selection in the NSW Under-16 netball team.
Following strong performances by Simmons in the Combined High Schools (CHS) state team she was asked to trial and was selected for the NSW state side to play at the national titles to be held in Melbourne in August.
Simmons, 15, said she aims to play her best at the nationals and would love to get picked in the Australian Under-16 team.
"I want to train hard and play the best I can at the nationals," she said.
Simmons said she likes having hard competition the likes of which she will encounter at the nationals as it makes her a better player.
The Grafton High School student who rates netball as her favourite sport comes from a family for whom sport is a big part of their life.
Simmons said she plays netball on the weekends in a team containing her elder sister Marley, her younger sister Ebony and her mum.
"It would be great if one day I could play in the Australian Netball team with my sisters Ebony and Marley," she said.
Marley, Simmons elder sister who has has always been an inspiration to Verity was recently selected in the NSW Institute of Sport netball training squad.
"I have always wanted to be like Marley and that is what makes me try harder," Verity said.
A natural sportswoman, Simmons has been playing various forms of sport for most of her life has been the age champion for swimming, athletics and cross country throughout primary and high school.
Simmons who plays centre in the state team said her favourite netball player is Temepara George, centre for the New Zealand women's team.
"I would love to be able to play like her," she said.
The Simmons family have been busy travelling to Sydney each fortnight for training for the state team since the May 27 which has been quite costly for the family.
Anyone who is interested sponsoring Verity in her Australian team quest should contact the Simmons family on 66445533.