Nelson Bay wins hearts and minds at State Age Championship

GOOD SPORTS: The Nelson Bay Netball Association under 13 team in a jovial mood at the state junior championships last week. Picture: Supplied
GOOD SPORTS: The Nelson Bay Netball Association under 13 team in a jovial mood at the state junior championships last week. Picture: Supplied

The Nelson Bay under 13 netball side has won the hearts and minds of opposition players, supporters and club officials with a spontaneous act of goodwill while competing at last week's junior state titles in Penrith.

While the Bay girls managed a highly creditable third placing in the fiercely competitive tournament on the court, it was their impressive show of sportsmanship off the court that had everybody talking and would earn them a gold-star rating.

Nelson Bay Netball Association sent both its under 13 and 12 teams to the three-day carnival.

The 13-years girls, having already wrapped up third place, headed into their last game against bottom of the ladder Eurobodella, a team that had been beaten for three consecutive days and were looking rather depleted.

"Our girls were incredibly empathetic to this and wanting to lift Eurobodella's spirits, at half time they decided to crank up the music and dance to some choreographed moves out on the court," one parent said.

"Encouraged by co-captains Taylor Smith and Chaeli Callaghan, the opposition girls slowly but surely began to join in the dancing which had the desired effect.

"They soon forget their worries and enjoyed a happy, lasting memory of their time at the tournament."

The dancing and celebrations were repeated after the final time siren.

"In that moment, the two teams pushed exhaustion and fatigue aside and danced their hearts out. It was fitting to see that no one cared about the final score, it had become much bigger than that."

Before long the Nelson Bay 12s had joined in alongside their opponents Cessnock and even an umpire joined in while others watched and filmed the rare experience.

The Eurobodella coach thanked the Bay's coach and manager Taylah and Kerry Whitty, complimenting them on the great sportsmanship.

Nelson Bay's under 13 team: Chaeli Callaghan, Taylor Smith, Sophie Cieplechowicz, Katie Foster, Amelia Glen, Alexis Green, Scarlett Lack, Ebony Limn, Chelsea Loose and Zoe Vanderhelm.

Under 12s: Millie Barnes, Ali Mitchell, Acacia Sinnicks, Mindi Morris, Eden Cheviot, Keana Murphy, Suki Short, Charlise Thompson, Leila Jones and Amari Berninca.

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