By NATALIA HAWK
It was a pair of shoes that started it all.
Laura Geitz grew up in the country, on a 1500-acre cattle and grain farm, two and a half hours out of Brisbane. She didn’t actually have the opportunity to play netball until she turned 13 and went to a new school, where she had the option of choosing between hockey and netball. And she very nearly chose hockey.
But Laura’s sister picked netball, and as a result, got an “amazing” pair of purple sports shoes.
“I thought, I’m going to sign up to netball, because I’ll get a great pair of shoes like that!” Laura tells me when she calls me to discuss all things netball-related. “And that’s kind of how it all came together.”
Now, she’s the captain of the Australian netball team, the Diamonds. How’s that for a fluke?
Netball’s been in the news this week, after the Coalition promised that, if elected, they would provide $3 million towards preparation for the 2015 World Cup, and another $3 million towards completing a state-of-the-art netball complex at Sydney Olympic Park.
It would certainly be a welcome move, considering that netball is one of Australia’s most popular sports. As soon as winter hits, hundreds of thousands of girls pull on bibs with “C” or “WD” or even “GK” on them, and hit the netball courts at their local park. The great majority of Australian women have played the game at some point or another, even if just once or twice.