A young sporting prospect from Karratha has taken the first step towards a future in netball after being chosen for a State-first pilot development program.
Devin Cunninghame, 15, was one of 48 netballers selected for Netball WA’s Fever in Time 14-16 program and is the only athlete from the North West to make the cut.
The purpose of the FIT program is to provide opportunity for athletes to work within a development training program which focuses on individual skill development, strength and conditioning.
Netball WA sport development manager Janelle Cuthbertson said the five-week program was designed for athletes identified as having potential long-term development in the sport.
“They’re girls who have the physical attributes or read the game well and who have the potential in the next couple of years to really be developing as a netballer and possibly move through the pathway,” she said.
In 2019, Devin played for local club Thunderbolts in both under 17’s and senior division one, she represented Karratha at the North West Championships in Broome and was the vice-captain of the North West’s division one 16-and-under team at the State Cup in Perth.
Cuthbertson said at the State Cup selectors had a targeted list of athletes, who had been identified throughout the year, to observe over the course of the competition.
“Selection in the FIT program doesn't guarantee selection into anything else at this time,” she said. “But it’s an opportunity for Netball WA to look at these athletes, develop their skills, educate them in an effort to expose them to what it might be like in a high-performance environment in the future.”
Over the next five weeks, Cunninghame will train in Karratha under guidance from Netball WA’s regional co-ordinators and the Pilbara Sports Academy.
But Cunninghame, who plays goal attack and shooter, plans to try to get to Perth for as many training sessions as possible.
“Obviously living in the North West makes that a bit hard,” she said.
“I’ll train up here as hard as I can when I’m not able to get down there, but hopefully I’ll be able to make it to a few of the sessions in Perth.”
With her ultimate dream being to one day play for West Coast Fever, Cunninghame is hopeful the FIT program will set her on the right pathway.