MEDAL MOMENTS: Ipswich hockey players Miranda (left) and Kelly McNamara had different roles at the recent Australian under-18 championships in Hobart. Miranda umpired the bronze medal match with Kelly part of the gold medal-winning Queensland team.
MEDAL MOMENTS: Ipswich hockey players Miranda (left) and Kelly McNamara had different roles at the recent Australian under-18 championships in Hobart. Miranda umpired the bronze medal match with Kelly part of the gold medal-winning Queensland team. Contributed

Sisters share success in national spotlight

SHE'S shared in unbeaten Queensland team performances in hockey at international school and national club level.

Now it's back to her other sporting passion - cross country - to chase another dream.

Kelly McNamara is one of Ipswich's most consistent and deserving sports achievers.

However, her latest gold medal success with the Queensland under-18 hockey team had added importance.

Apart from winning her first national title in the sport, McNamara shared the special moment in Hobart with her older sister Miranda.

While Kelly was helping Queensland advance through the Australian championships undefeated, Miranda was continuing her rise up the ranks as a Hockey Australia umpire.

Miranda was awarded the bronze medal match between Victoria and Western Australia.

The Queensland under-18 team won the gold medal after beating NSW 2-0 in the final.

Both sisters play A Grade for Hancock Brothers in the Ipswich competition.

"It's nice with her to come down as a support and also to do a professional part,'' Kelly said of Miranda.

Ipswich Girls' Grammar School year 12 student Kelly turns 18 in October.

Miranda, studying primary education at Australian Catholic University, is 20 next month.

While pleased to see Miranda achieving her goals, Kelly had an extra reason to savour her on-field success.

After being named Players' Player on last year's Queensland Schoolgirls under-19 tour to New Zealand, she reunited with six teammates at the latest titles in Tasmania.

"This one was a bit more special because we had so much experience playing with each other,'' she said. "A lot of them I've played since under 12s with.''

As was the case in New Zealand, the latest Queensland team advanced through the tournament undefeated.

"I think this one was a bit more competition, playing against the other states and winning out of Australia was pretty good,'' Kelly said.

Other players in the successful Queensland under-18 side included goalkeepers Emily Witheyman-Crump and Mackenzie McAvoy.

They also attend IGGS, sharing the vital net-guarding roles in Hobart.

For Kelly, the victory capped a terrific climb through the junior hockey ranks. She'd previously represented Queensland at under-13 and under-15 level, making last year's Queensland under-18 number two side.

With the national titles over for another year, she's keen to help Hancocks in the Ipswich competition and her second team UQ in the Brisbane Division 1 series.

The Ipswich club athlete is also stepping up preparations for school and club cross country events coming up.

The first is on Saturday at the QGSSSA championships at Yatala.

Kelly and another state representative Montanna McAvoy are IGGS cross country captains.

McAvoy, a top 3km runner, has just been named in the Australian team for the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in July.

After upcoming regional titles at Limestone Park, the duo are hoping to make future state teams, having contested last year's national titles in Canberra.

For Kelly, athletics provides another set of enjoyable challenges.

"It's just focusing on my hockey and cross country, just training for cross country,'' she said. "I've got to keep up the consistency and train hard to get to the Queensland team.''



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