State player ‘Sez’ boosted by energy drink, team culture
HAVING started her representative career with the Goodna Netball Association, Sarah Jackson remains a vital part of the Sapphires' ongoing success.
The versatile wing attack/centre has played the sport for 20 years in between having children.
"I love mid court and don't mind running a muck at wing defence either, and can shoot if need,'' Jackson said.
In her fifth year with the Sapphires, Jackson has represented the Queensland Suns and Mixed teams in outdoor netball, been selected in state indoor teams and played on two Australian tours.
Winning last year's State Cup with the Sapphires was particularly enjoyable as was going away to nationals with her daughters.
She plays club netball for Goodna, alongside her two daughters, in the Saturday Ipswich Netball Association competition.
With unbeaten Goodna in a strong position to challenge for their fourth consecutive SEQ Cup grand final, Jackson currently has an important defensive role working with Renae Keith and Jae Eustace.
The Sapphires face Carina in their next 6.30pm game on Thursday night.
Jackson said the team's latest 49-32 win over QUT was helpful for the Sapphires after six comfortable victories.
"It was a great hitout and a lot more challenging and physical compared to previous games we have played this season,'' she said.
"We had to really ensure that we stuck to our game plan and push through every quarter.
"We never skipped a beat even with our changes which was awesome.''
Jackson said Eustace and Lisa Tucker have impressed in their first season with the Sapphires.
"They have seamlessly slotted so nicely into the team and both have brought so much,'' she said.
"Also our captain Robyn (Walsh) has worked so hard in the off-season. She is starting to really come back into her game with her screaming one-armed intercepts.''
Nicknamed Sez, Jackson rates herself a team player who is hard and fast on the court.
That's why she backs the undefeated Sapphires to continue challenging strongly this season.
"I think we can put it down to our team culture of never giving in and the great leadership that we have off and on the court,'' she said. "Also able to be able to enjoy ourselves.''
Sipping a Red Bull energy drink as a ritual before playing, Jackson is working hard on her fitness.
"I am pretty happy with where I am at the moment with the help of my great friend Tyson at Lava Lava Fitness,'' she said. "He has really been pushing me the past couple of weeks to gain the strength/power back in my legs.''
She aso appreciates the guidance of coach David "Scooby'' Eustace.
"Good old coach Scooby is always there to listen to me and give me the real honest truth of what I need to do and playing this year with my other half of me and best friend Tucky.''
However, Jackson said the Sapphires were missing their "wonderful'' manager Lauren "Loz'' Lavea who has been unable to come to games due to COVID-19 border restrictions.
"We are grateful that we have had some amazing stand-ins of Judy (White) and Toppy (Karen Topp),'' Jackson said.
Away from netball, Jackson works for the Institute for Urban indigenous Health (IUIH).
"I absolutely love my job,'' she said.
Jackson said she knew little about Thursday night opponents Carina due to COVID restrictions denying teams the chance to stay on watch other sides.
"But according to the ladder, I think it will be another tough match-up,'' she said.
The 6.30pm match is at the Queensland State Netball Centre.