Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Taylah pursues high-performance pathway

Posted 5 June 2018 Taylah Brown

Wesley College Year 12 student Taylah Brown has been selected in the 2018 National Netball 17 and Under squad. The Glen Waverley campus student was selected after her performance in the National Netball Championships in Adelaide in April, in which the Victorian 17 and Under team claimed the silver medal. According to Netball Australia, Taylah and her squad colleagues were selected on the basis of their demonstrable potential as well as their performances throughout the six-day tournament.

According to Netball Centre of Excellence Head Coach and Selection Panel Chair Michelle Wilkins, selection in the 17 and Under squad is the next step for athletes in their progression through Netball Australia’s high-performance pathway.

Taylah, who hails from South Gippsland and is a boarder in Glen Waverley’s Learning in Residence program, said there are many benefits of living on campus.

‘Being in Glen Waverley’s Learning in Residence has been an entirely new experience,’ Taylah said. ‘It’s made it easier to access training, without having to spend an hour-and-a-half or more in the car. That’s also freed up time for me to focus on my Year 12 studies. 

‘Back home in South Gippsland, everyone across the community has been behind me for my nationals campaign and congratulated me on my selection. Even though I’m living on campus now, the community’s support back home is absolutely amazing. It definitely pushes me to continue developing my game, and play the best netball I can, to hopefully continue climbing the netball ladder.’

Wesley College Head Coach of Netball Margaret Molina, a goal shooter in the national team to win the 1971 and ’75 world championships, and subsequently Matildas team manager,  described Taylah as, ‘A wonderful asset to the Wesley team’.

‘There’s no two ways about that,’ Ms Molina said. ‘Certainly, when you have a player of Taylah’s calibre in your team, it does lift the players around her.’

While the pursuit of excellence in netball is the Year 11s goal, the sport has also taught Taylah about resilience, time management and other skills she has been able to transfer to her studies. ‘As a student, I’ve always had to manage my time to be able to complete school work to a high standard and then be able to play as much sport as I do. Since I’ve been at Wesley this has been even more apparent, in my training for school, on top of other training outside of school. The discipline, resilience and time management I learn playing sport helps me with keeping on top of school work and ensuring that I aim to maintain a high standard in all that I do.’

Taylah, who plays wing defence in the Victorian state team and describes it as her favourite position, is currently learning the ‘ins and outs’ of playing centre position, and loving the challenge. So what motivates her, in school work and sport? ‘My main motivation is to continue improving, and to help country kids, like myself, to understand that it is possible to compete in sports at high levels if you have the dedication and drive, and most of all want to do it.’

Taylah will head to Canberra in October for an intensive elite training camp at the Netball Centre of Excellence through the Australian Institute of Sport Netball Scholarship Program. The squad camp will feature international competition, with England and New Zealand sending 17 and Under teams to train and participate in practice matches.

Image: Taylah Brown in action in the National Netball Championships 17 and Under Final in Adelaide in April

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