A letter to our younger selves, from our goalers

1 month ago

Ruby Barkmeyer

Dear Ruby,

I never would have thought that I would be running out on court alongside athletes I have looked up to since I first began playing and for the team I have admired from the very beginning.

To be sharing the transverse line with Hannah banana, just like we did in underage Victorian teams many years ago is quite special and something we both never imagined.

After years of hard work, early mornings and long car trips I am able to run out on court and perform at my best with the support of coaching staff, family and friends.

I will be forever thankful for the support and guidance from a number of people that have allowed me to achieve my goals and continue to push me to be better everyday and enjoy playing the sport I love.

Ruby xx

Mwai Kumwenda

Dear Mwai,

I know you didn’t even dream of where you are now. So much has changed in your life and I am so happy to live in Australia.

Playing for the Vixens has changed me. It has been very special for me and has made me tough. It has helped me help my family and build mum’s house back in the village.

Everything is possible if you work hard, even for a girl in Mzimba so far away.

Things might sound scary, but you can do it. When you do the scary things, you grow, and you work hard to be the best you can be.

While you will be nervous moving to Australia, the wonderful friends you make and the beautiful people you live with will become your family away from home.

Australia is a very lucky country and the young girls here should know how lucky they are to be brought up on a beautiful land. I just wanted to thank beautiful people in Australia for helping me to come this far.

In the village, a lot of girls my age are married with six children, and that’s ok. But as long as you stay a good person with a good heart, and choose good people around you, you will have a wonderful life.

I thank God for my beautiful life and I am happy where I am now.

Love MJ xx

Kaylia Stanton

Dear Kaylia,

Firstly, you are going to be so happy with what the future holds for you! I can’t wait to see your smiling face, beaming with the opportunities that lie ahead of you.

Don’t forget where you came from and how hard you’re going to have to work to get there, but trust me it’s all worth it in the end.

You are going to be excited and positively surprised by your own achievements.

I know it might seem like you’re a long way away from a professional netball career but just wait til you’re playing netball with the Melbourne Vixens in front of 8000 screaming fans.

Secondly, your talent will only get you so far, hard work and determination is where you’ll get the greatest learnings. You may think you know what it takes but you’ll need a kick up the bum a few times and a few seasons sitting on the bench to teach you how hard you need to work to make it to the top.

Make sure you don’t lose sight of who you are and what you stand for along the way.

Whatever you do, make sure you persevere, DON'T GIVE UP. You are a strong and resilient person and no matter what adversities may come your way you are able to overcome them. You will make your family and friends very proud, and most importantly yourself.

Yours truly,

Kaylia

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