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Students inspired by netball champ


St Martin de Porres Years 3-6 students gained a glimpse of what it’s like to be a professional athlete when Maddy Proud visited the Sheidow Park school last month.

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Maddy, a Sacred Heart College old scholar, recently co-captained the NSW Swifts to its second premiership in the Suncorp Super Netball League.

She shared stories of her journey as a professional netballer and the process of writing her children’s novel Grace on the Court.

Year 3 teacher Alex Tilley said the students were left inspired by Maddy’s stories of overcoming setbacks and injuries to becoming one of Australia’s best netballers.

The 27-year-old midcourter told of the heart-breaking ACL rupture which precluded her from taking the court in the 2019 grand final and then breaking a rib in the semi-final win which put the team into the 2021 grand final.

“Thankfully I had a week off to recover and I was so busy worrying about my rib that I wasn’t quite so nervous when I played centre in the grand final,” she explained.

Moving to four different states for varying amounts of time as a result of COVID, and being unable to play in front of Swifts fans in Sydney, were other challenges for Maddy and the team.

After a Powerpoint presentation students lined up for autographs and photos.

A member of the 2021-22 Australian Diamonds Squad, Maddy has returned to Sydney for pre-season training with the NSW Swifts and is finalising the publishing of a sequel to Grace on the Court.


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