Columnist: Geva Mentor
Mum's on the line ... and so is another game
ONE of the big winners in our online way of life has to be my mum.
Being so far away from my home in England, the computer has been an important way of keeping in touch – and the perfect tool for Mum to keep an eye on me.
I took part in my first live online forum last week with netballscoop.com, and I really enjoyed answering questions and chatting with netball fans.
But two of the trickiest questions came from the lady who knows me well – Mum. Yep, she just couldn’t help herself, logged in and raised a couple of big issues that I had to make comment on. Of course I love my mum, but talk about put me on the spot. Although, when I think about it now it really is quite amusing.
All up, it was a busy week of media for me, which I enjoy doing.
Among the media work was the launch of the fantastic program “Netball for All’ in Dandenong, and a lunchtime in-studio chat with Daniel Harford on the Harf Time program on SEN radio.
Netball for All is an exciting initiative that offers opportunities for people from all backgrounds – such as those in multicultural and indigenous communities, and people with disabilities – to be involved in our great sport.
Of course this off-court work fitted in between preparing for the Melbourne Vixens’ big game against the Queensland Firebirds – and the arrival on the weekend of my bestie and partner in crime Sonia Mkoloma.
Sonz is of course the goal keeper with NSW Swifts and because they had a bye she was able to come down and spend some time with me – after all, us Poms have got to stick together.
So she got a little bit of a guided tour from me: some of the coast, where to shop and a quiet evening out – and she was at the game on Sunday afternoon at Hisense Arena.
Now those who know Sonz, know she has quite a distinctive voice and is a star recruit in any cheer squad. Well, she lived up to expectations and was outstanding from the sidelines.
It will always be one of the things I’ll cherish the most about playing sport, the friendships that are formed and will last a lifetime. Sonz is one of those.
On the Vixens training court we certainly put in the mileage last week after our one-goal victory over the WBOP Magic in round four. We were so lucky to pip them on the post and at training we were determined to iron out the problems we encountered early on in that game.
Well, turned out we got lucky. Again.
By George! Can you believe we got out of jail? In the dying seconds. By a goal.
The entire week after the Magic thriller, people pleaded with us not to produce another heart-stopping finish, and then we go and do that against the Firebirds!
But let me say to those who are worried about heart-pounding finishes – if you withstood that Firebirds game, your heart is working just fine. You’ve got plenty more in you ... although, the team and our coach are certainly not planning on any more finishes like that.
It was a terrible start from us in that game. And we even ranted all week about how important it was for us to start strongly.
The entire game was tough. For me, it felt like I was getting my butt kicked through an hour-long plyometric session, jumping and swiping the air over and over while playing against the taller Romelda Aiken. I’m 188cm (6’2) and Romelda is 196cm ( 6’5).
It was a game that defined persistence; gradually wearing down our opponents and refusing to give in. We held our nerve.
When we were seven or so down in the last quarter I thought, “Geez, it’s so hard to get turnovers against this team. We’ve given ourselves a tough ask here”.
The minutes seemed to tick away so quickly in the fourth quarter and the last time I saw the clock there were about four minutes to play and I thought, “We better hurry up.”
The rest is lost in a blur of individual brilliance that was riding on all this momentum that came from our determination as a team. That’s what got us over the line.
I do remember, however, holding my breath – with the crowd – as Tegs (Tegan Caldwell) threw that last big ball into Karyn (Howarth) in the circle.
When Karyn sank the ball and the final whistle sounded, my first thought was: “That’s nuts!”. I shook my head thinking how jammy we were. By a goal, on the whistle, twice in a week. O.M.G!
We’re back on the road this weekend, heading for Christchurch where we play Canterbury Tactix on Monday night.
So tune in to ONE because we’ve been putting on some entertaining shows that have lifted the ratings – and the heart rates.
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