Pleasure and pain

THE word traumatic does not even come close to describing the recent history of former Clarence Valley netballer Verity Simmons.

In the last year the former Grafton High School student has not only suffered an operation to repair a dislocated shoulder, but she has also discovered she has diabetes.

However, with the announcement she made the NSW under-19 squad, the dark clouds which have plagued Simmons are beginning to part and the sun is starting to shine again.

Simmons', 17, torturous stint on the sidelines recovering from her shoulder operation, will come to an end this Sunday night when she takes to the court for the NSW squad at the Ann Clarke Netball Centre in Lidcombe.

“It has been almost six months since I dislocated my shoulder,” Simmons said.

“I just want to get out there and play.”

Simmons may be dying to get back on the court, but it was on the court where her shoulder gave way not once, but twice.

“I was just going for a ball and it just popped,” Simmons said.

“It happened the first time at nationals and then at the Australian Institute camp.

“I've been working with the physio every day to rebuild the muscle strength in my shoulder,” she said.

The shoulder injury may have stalled Simmons' career, but it was the shock diagnosis she was a diabetic that rocked the young netball star's life.

“It was a bit of a shock ... no-one ever picked up,” Simmons said.

“I got pretty sick at nationals, but I didn't think anything of it.

“It was only after the family I was staying with noticed I was going through eight bottles of water that I went to see a doctor,” she said.

Simmons, who lives near Newcastle with the grandparents of a State teammate, said it was difficult to deal with the news so far away from the support of her family.

“I'm at the end of my netball scholarship with the (NSW) Institute and I was flying down all the time from Grafton and it was getting too hectic,” she said.

“Mum rings me nearly every night.”

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