Laura passes on top game tips
LAURA Geitz made a big impression on the Hervey Bay Netball Association courts yesterday and not just because she's 1.86m (6ft 1 in) tall.
Geitz is one of the brightest young stars on the Australian and world netball scene and 40 junior players from throughout the region loved every minute they spent with her in a coaching clinic.
A gold medallist at the 2011 World Championships in Singapore and a silver medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Geitz put the youngsters through their paces for almost three hours.
The 24-year-old Geitz, a defender, who helped the Queensland Firebirds win the ANZ Championship undefeated last season, said she had thoroughly enjoyed her time in the Bay.
"Growing up in Allora (a little town on the Darling Downs), I know first-hand how hard it can be for young netballers to have an opportunity to get some coaching from elite players," said Geitz, who finished the season by winning Australia's highest netball accolade, the Liz Ellis Diamond.
"I am determined to try and do my bit to change that statistic.
"I've done coaching clinics in Brisbane in the past, so this year I decided to visit regional Queensland and give young players who have started out like I did a hand.
"I want to give back to the game and they (the clinics - she has visited four other cities on this road trip) have proven to be a success for both me and the young players.
"They (the players) seem to have a ball and enjoyed themselves as much as I have.
"Hopefully they will all learn something new from the experience.
"I also told them that regional netballers have to work extra hard to fulfil their netball dreams, but it really is possible.
"My dream came true."