The Ipswich Flyers netball team that won the 2019 SEQ Cup grand final.
The Ipswich Flyers netball team that won the 2019 SEQ Cup grand final.

Champion team tackles delay with fitness, laughter

SHARING fitness ideas and funny memes are keeping the closeknit Ipswich Flyers netballers united during the coronavirus shutdown.

It's just a massive shame the defending Queensland Premier League SEQ Cup champions won't be launching their title defence later this month.

Coach Nicole Grant said her players were understandably disappointed they won't be back on court for the new season's scheduled start on April 30.

However, she said her netball-loving group "understands what is going on at the moment is much bigger then netball''.

Communication and laughter are helping the players and coaching staff forget about the limited pre-season and delayed competition start.

"We have always stayed in touch as a group via Messenger, which includes myself and my manager Mel (de Kleyn),'' Grant said.

"We will share ideas to keep fit and also funny memes - especially when they relate to netball.

"We all check in with each other as a group and have a laugh.

"A lot of the players have made strong friendships over the years so they are in contact with each other most days.''

Grant said players were doing their own training.

"We were all set to have Xtreme Performance Physio offering our team personal strength and conditioning sessions this year,'' she said.

"Ben French was going to conduct an initial fitness screening of each player at the first session which unfortunately we didn't get to have.

"I am trusting in all of my players to know how important it is that they keep up their fitness during this time.''

 

Ipswich Flyers SEQ Cup coach Nicole Grant
Ipswich Flyers SEQ Cup coach Nicole Grant

 

In her second year as head coach, Grant is eager to keep the balance right.

"I know a lot of my players will be juggling working and schooling from home and it is important for me as a coach to be mindful of putting extra pressure on to these players during this unprecedented period,'' the former state league player said.

"When things return to normal, training will step up and we will build on the training programs that players are undertaking individually. The players have all been told if they don't keep up a reasonable level of fitness it will only make it harder for them when the season begins.''

As for how her team was coping, Grant was typically upbeat.

"I think the girls are really missing their netball,'' she said. "However I am sure this break will only reinforce the passion and love each of the Flyers have for the team and the game.''

Grant shared her thoughts being a coach during such an unsettled time.

"It's very hard to plan for a season when you don't know when it will start or end,'' she said.

"I am constantly adjusting the team focus and plan as new information comes to light.''

2020 side was chosen.

The Ipswich team also had a welcome dinner before all netball in Queensland was put on hold until at least June 30.