Growing up in north west Engand, NSW Swifts’ boom 2017 recruit Helen Housby never really had the chance to meet any of her sporting idols, let alone learn from them.
That’s why she can appreciate just how much the Swifts’ regional tour meant to the central west’s youngsters on Thursday.
Housby, who joined the Swifts for this year’s inaugural Suncorp Super Netball competition, heaped praise on the concept and said it was absolute joy to be able to pass on her knowledge to Orange’s generation next at Sir Neville Howse Stadium.
“I never really had this growing up, so it’s great to be able to give back to the netball community that has given me so much,” she enthused.
“I grew up in rural England, so I pretty much played every sport under the sun and I wasn’t picked up until I was 17 or 18, so these girls are really lucky to have Netball NSW working so hard to bring these kinds of things to this area, and have these kind of influences so early on.
“It’s so important, and we love it so much too. It’s great to be able to see these girls having so much fun and being able to bring some of our knowledge to them is exciting as well.
“I’m a shooter, so I obviously did plenty of shooting games with the girls. We did some balls skills stuff as well, and some stuff on learning on how to be a good team member and have fun with your friends which is really important.”
Housby’s presence added a different, international dynamic to the visit as well. While every youngster at the PCYC almost certainly supports Australia, being able to learn from an English international as well is a rare chance plenty were keen to take advantage of.
The 22-year-old was actually a part of England’s successful Fast5 World Series campaign in Melbourne last month, hopping off a plane in Sydney and heading straight over the mountains.
“We did win, which was obviously was pretty cool,” she said, before saying how impressed she is with the Fast5 format.
“Melbourne was absolutely incredible, I went last year as well and the atmosphere is unbelievable. The crowd is dressed up, they’re dancing around and the kids love it,”
“Fast5 is a great way for everyone to enjoy the sport in a different format. I also think, the professional can sometimes be very serious so its a good way to enjoy it, and not take yourself too seriously at the same time.”