Australian netball captain Laura Geitz encourages the next generation of players at the Ipswich clinic yesterday.
Australian netball captain Laura Geitz encourages the next generation of players at the Ipswich clinic yesterday. Inga Williams

'Exciting Games too far away' for Australian captain

IPSWICH-born Australian netball captain Laura Geitz concedes the 2018 Commonwealth Games are too far away to commit to yet.

However, the popular face of Queensland netball has plenty to keep her busy while she ponders the next couple of years.

"For me, they (the 2018 Games) are a little bit too far away to be completely honest,'' she said, having already won a gold and silver medal in 2010 and 2014.

"I don't know if I'll be there (Gold Coast) but it's exciting to be so close to home.''

Geitz, 28, is preparing to help the Queensland Firebirds challenge for another national title after topping the Australian Conference.

On July 18, the Firebirds will play the winner of the first elimination final in their quest to match last year's impressive success.

"We're going really well,'' the Firebirds linchpin said.

"We're heading into finals now and we've got all the hard work ahead of us but we're in a good spot.

"Hopefully we can go back-to-back. That's our aim.''

Australian and Firebirds commitments aside, her other passion is helping young players - the reason for her latest visit to Ipswich.

Geitz and her Chemist Warehouse Fuel2Fly team delivered a positive message, encouraging more than 100 young netballers at the Doris Howes courts.

After hosting a successful clinic last year, Geitz enjoyed returning to the city, despite yesterday's less than welcoming weather.

"It's an opportunity for us to be able to work with the young girls of Ipswich and just pass on some of our knowledge to them and let them have that positive experience,'' the Australian captain said.

Geitz was born in Ipswich on November 4, 1987 when her mum lived in the area. However, she didn't spend her youth here, growing up on a farm in Allora on the Darling Downs.

The 185cm tall netballer went on to become Queensland and Australian Diamonds captain. She has led her country since 2013.

In chilly Ipswich conditions yesterday, she oversaw another valuable three hour session for players up to 14 years of age.

"These clinics are not so much netball specific. It's more of a holistic approach,'' she said.

The clinic covered everything from nutrition and goal setting to improving skills and injury prevention.

"Our job, as professional athletes, is to help inspire the next generation that comes through and inspire them to lead healthy, active lifestyles,'' Geitz said.

"That's what these clinics do.

"It's about participating.

"Whether it be netball or anything, it's really important to be active, and that's probably our biggest message that we want to get across to young kids.

"How important it is to lead healthy and active lifestyles.

"We see a lot of our roles out there as encouraging and inspiring young kids.''

Look for more photos from the clinic in next week's QT Junior Sport section.



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