AS Jade Warrender continues her comeback from injury, the Hockeyroo will be given guidance by former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis.
Warrender is able to use Ellis as a mentor after the Orange product was given a Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship.
Five scholarships were given to young Australian athletes at a recent presentation dinner in Melbourne and each was allocated a mentor who is in the Hall of Fame.
Warrender was delighted to be able to work with Ellis even if their first encounter wasn’t what either of them expected.
“I met her in the bathroom [at the presentation],” Warrender laughed.
“I came out and she was there. She said she liked my dress ... we got on really well. We talked about anything and everything.”
Now Warrender plans to learn as much as she can from the Australian netball legend.
“It’s now a matter of keeping in touch and getting the most out of this opportunity to speak to Liz,” Warrender said.
“I want to tap into her leadership qualities and how to get the best out of yourself and others around you.”
The presentation dinner was full of excitement for Warrender who was able to meet some of Australia’s greatest sportspeople.
“It was the best night I have been to,” she said.
“It was the most amazing, inspirational night anyone could go to. The amount of people there who were past and present champions. They are legends of sport in Australia and they were all so nice and down to earth.”
There was one person in particular who the 20-year-old was thrilled to meet.
“I met Wayne Bennett and he’s my idol of idols. I’m just in awe of him,” she said.
“We had a really great conversation. He said he’s going to keep tabs on my career. He also said I can contact him if I want to talk to him about something.”
Warrender also enjoyed meeting the other scholarship winners.
“We’ve all agreed to meet up at the food court in Rio [2016 Olympics],” she said.
The midfielder is continuing her strong recovery from a knee reconstruction.
Last week she marked five months since her surgery and was given clearance to start changing direction on her knee.
“It felt strong and just like normal. It’s now a matter of being patient and doing the work,” she said.
“I’ve got four months to go and now’s the exciting time.”