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The beautiful reason Aussie Diamond Jo Weston plays netball.

This is the first instalment of Mamamia’s ‘Sport Siren’ series – where we will shine a spotlight on a brilliant Aussie athlete every single Saturday.

This is Australian netball player Jo Weston’s story…

Like many Aussie girls, Jo Weston was out on the netball court at a young age.

“I started playing when I was about eight-years-old,” she told Mamamia. “I had sort of moved school and decided to join the team as a way to make new friends.”

Quad Series done and dusted! So much love for these sisters :D

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Weston, who doesn’t have any sisters of her own and is the only female kid in her extended family, quickly realised she’d found her people – and her game.

“I just loved it,” she said. “For me it was really having that female bond which was really lovely.”

Weston, who has been a Melbourne Vixen for the past four years, just returned from playing overseas with the Australian Diamonds; she calls her teammates her ‘sisters’.

On Saturday, the 23-year-old will once again trade the green and gold for blue and pink, in the first round of the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball competition.

Happy birthday to our very own @jo_weston who turns 23 today! We hope you have had a fantastic day! #VixensFamily #WeMakeChampions

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The new league has been hailed as a circuit-breaker by netball fanatics and marks a turning point not just for the beloved game, but for women’s sport in Australia.

It abandons the ANZ Championships – and a long-term relationship with Netball New Zealand – in favour of an eight team, fifteen round season and an historic broadcast deal with the Nine Network and Telstra TV.

Three new teams will also join the original five in 2017: Giants Netball, Magpies Netball Club and the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Introducing your 2017 #SuncorpSuperNetball captains! Talk about #squadgoals. ???? #SuncorpSuperNetball ????: Ben Symons Photography

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“We’re all pretty grateful that netball has come such a far way in such a short period of time and we have the players before us to thank for all their hard work behind the scenes,” Weston said.

“For me, when I was younger, I never saw being a netball player as a career per se but now young girls watching and playing can aspire to that.”

Aside from being a fierce on-court defender Weston, who trained at the Australian Institute, is also a budding financial analyst with Deloitte Australia.

What does everyone think of my colour printer? @unimelb #finallygraduatedhoorah

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Even as the game becomes increasingly professional – or rather its players begin to see some financial reward for their unwavering professionalism – she values her broad skill set.

“Netball has always encouraged its athletes to be multi-faceted,” she said.

“It makes us better, more rounded athletes but also better role models.”

School photos gone wild! Game day with this refined bunch #sisters

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Weston, who watched the Melbourne Phoenix and the Melbourne Kestrels as “a youngin’” has always looked up to legend of the game Liz Ellis.

“What she was able to achieve on and off the court is truly a testament to the athlete and person she is.

“I think as women in general we always pretty good at having multiple things on the go, we have fantastic athletes that aren’t get the recognition or the coverage they deserve.”

A Western Bulldogs fan, she has been overjoyed to see the rise of the AFL Women’s league in recent weeks.

“I think more women can dream of being professional sports people,” she said.

Listen up to all the latest from the AFLW news here:

Weston is hoping the free-to-air coverage of the Suncorp Super Netball will similarly bring a bigger audience to her game then ever before.

Regardless, she – and the 70 other athletes in the league – will be giving it her all.

“To me it’s always been the team facet of it, the ability to get out there with some other girls and work to achieve a common goal,” she said.

“It’s about having a bond with fellow girls – and women – I think that’s really important and it’s great to have that female empowerment within the team.

“Like I said, I just love the game.”

You can find everything you need to know about the Suncorp Super Netball, which starts on Friday night, on the league’s website.

In 2017, Mamamia is committed to covering all aspects on women’s sport. Check out more of our sports stories here

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