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The 2024 National Netball Championships took place in April this year with six Blaze athletes selected to represent teams in both NSW and ACT.

South Coast Blaze athletes Ellie Hart, Siulolo Ritcher and Emily McPherson represented the NSW U17s side whilst Kaylah Upfield, Mataiya Rossiter and Eleni Lolesio represented the ACT U19s side. It was an exciting week for all Blaze athletes, in particular Siulolo Ritcher as she competed in her very first Netball Nationals.

“I learnt a lot at nationals,” Ritcher said.

“Playing against girls that are just as strong, fit and skilful was so exciting, it made me ten times hungrier on the court.”

“One thing I’ll take away from the experience is the speed, maturity and high intensity of the game.”

Kaylah Upfield, who captained the ACT side, also described the week as tough but valuable in teaching the girls new skills and resilience on court.

“Nationals is a great experience for any young athlete who is lucky enough to attend,” Upfield said.

“Over two campaigns I’ve learnt what it means to be part of a team, and how to keep moving forward when things don’t go your way.”

Blaze’s success continued throughout the week as athlete and NSW Captain, Ellie Hart was selected into the 2024 Australian 17/U squad following her performance throughout the championships.

Kaylah Upfield, Mataiya Rossiter and Eleni Lolesio with the ACT U19s team

“Nationals is such an incredible experience,” Hart said.

“You get to play alongside, against and be coached by the best of the best.”

“The adrenaline rush of each game, combined with the sense of pride in representing my state, made the experience unforgettable.”

Each of the girls displayed their skill levels and passion for the game over the week with intense games and great performances by both NSW and ACT teams