THEY have competed against each other for the last seven years but yesterday Chelsea Noon and Clare Hoogers were finally on the same side.
The girls were among 150 new students taking part in Orientation Week celebrations at Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) Orange campus.
Over the years the girls have competed against each other in netball, both in the role of centre for their respective teams.
They hail from separate towns - Chelsea from Wallerawang and Clare from Narrandera, but this year will start their physiotherapy degrees together.
“We both got early entry and came to campus for a tour on the same day at the same time,” Clare said.
“We’ve know each other since we were 11 years old.”
Neither girl knew the other had enrolled in the physiotherapy course at CSU Orange but say they are happy to already have a friend before they have even started their studies.
Chelsea is looking forward to the “social side of things” while Clare is excited about “everything”.
Chelsea’s mother Lisa Noon and Clare’s father Robert Hoogers took part in a parents/supporters information session yesterday morning and said they were not worried about their children leaving home to study at CSU.
“She’s the youngest of three so I’ve heard it all before,” Mrs Noon said.
“Our other child is at CSU Wagga and it’s a great community and everyone looks after them,” Mr Hoogers said.
Yesterday was just the start of CSU’s O Week celebration with information and social sessions planned until Friday.
O Week co-ordinator Jessica Powell said the week was important to introduce first-time students to their new surroundings and city.
“It’s to get the new students united with everyone in the community and to meet other people in other courses,” she said.
“A lot of students come from Sydney so it’s good to show them what the country is like.”
There are 680 students studying at CSU Orange with a further 120 studying via distance education.