Ipswich teen eyes spot with Queensland Firebirds
AT JUST 17 years of age, Abigail Latu-Meafou has announced herself one of the best netballers in Queensland.
Latu-Meafou was joint winner of the Queensland Champions Cup Most Valuable Player award for her efforts for Wildcats in the Queensland Tier 1 competition.
Although it was her first season at this level, the mature teenager oozes self-confidence.
"I had high hopes and a lot of faith in my ability," the year 12 student said. "The opportunity came and I took it."
Latu-Meafou is a goal attack or goal shooter who has stopped growing at 179cm.
She concedes she will have to shift to wing attack if she is to continue to climb the senior ranks.
But her Samoan heritage has given her the strength to compensate for her relative lack of height.
The next level up is to represent the Queensland Firebirds.
While that would be a dream come true, Latu-Meafou is determined to stay grounded.
"My future is unsure," she said.
"You never know what other emerging stars might take my position. I'm focussing on school and university."
Latu-Meafou wants to tackle a Bachelor of Arts degree as a way of opening doors into international diplomacy.
"I'm hoping to take up the cause of international relations," she said. "Get a better knowledge of the injustices around the world and find where I can help."
Latu-Meafou has been at IGGS for two-and-a-half years and credits the school with a big role in her netball development.
The firsts team this year finished third in the Queensland Girls' Secondary Schools Sports Association (QGSSSA) competition, but reached an all-time high of sixth place in the statewide Vicky Wilson Cup competition.
Meafou put it down to the team's unity.
"Many of our girls are really young so we had to connect on court," she said. "There was no time for individuals."
Latu-Meafou remains in the selection process for the Queensland under 19 team.
Given her accomplishments this year it seems hard to imagine her not getting selected.