See how this resilient mum has risen above sporting setbacks
WHEN you've dealt with the injury challenges that inspiring mum Beth Thornton has, sporting tenacity takes on a new meaning.
The senior Goodna Sapphires netballer tackled the serious muscle syndrome Rhabdomyolysis twice last year after suffering a broken coccyx in 2017, needing her meniscus repaired in 2015 and an ACL reconstruction in 2008.
Yet, she's still battling on gamely for the Queensland Premier League SEQ Cup competition leaders.
However, as the Sapphires return to the court against Redlands on Thursday night, Thornton appreciated the short recess from representative play.
"The break has been lovely,'' Thornton said.
"Not only does it give a bit of recovery time for the body and niggling injuries, but it also has allowed me and most of the other Sapphire team members the opportunity to spend school holidays with our families and children and travel away if we wanted to.''
Leading into the QPL break, eight Sapphires players were involved in the indoor state trials, a weekend of multiple games in Toowoomba.
A few Goodna players sustained injuries so Thornton said having no QPL games for a fortnight was timely.
"It's been a welcomed break to allow those players time to be fresh and ready to go this Thursday,'' she said.
The Sapphires play Redlands, having been unbeaten in their opening seven matches.
That consistency, team success and wonderful bond are among reasons why former state and national player Thornton continues playing with the Sapphires.
She enjoys catching up with friends every Thursday night.
"We all love playing together, and we've played against and with each other for many years,'' she said.
"We have a lot of experience through our team and I think that shows on court.
"It's such a talented group of netball players that I feel privileged to be a part of.
"We have a great coach in David Eustace who understands our commitments as not only as players but mothers as well. And our manager Lauren is one in a million supporting us every step of the way.
"Her commitment to our team is so appreciated."
Away from netball, Thornton enjoys swimming where she competed at the State Masters Championships earlier this year.
However, netball is never far from her thoughts. She started played aged 11, advancing through representative levels with the Western Districts Netball Association.
Thornton was part of the inaugural Firebabes team in the Dairy Farmers Competition.
Following that in 2001, she played with Lions for more than six years, assuming a captaincy role.
She stopped playing in 2011 to have her first baby at the start of 2012, then went back and played Tier 2 level in 2012 before her second baby in 2013. The netball mum resumed playing A-Grade in 2014.
In 2010, she was selected in the Queensland Indoor Open Ladies side and made the Australian team.
Last year, Thornton gained more honours in the Queensland indoor over- 30's team. She will be representing her state in Adelaide at the nationals in October along with Sapphires teammates Renae Kalalo, Christine Peever, Rebecca Asquith and captain Robyn Walsh.
She has a long association with Peever and Walsh.
"I first played outdoor netball with Chrissy about 15 or so years ago then mostly against each other,'' she said.
"Robyn and I started playing indoor maybe 13 years ago.
"Most of us have played on and off with, or against each other, for quite some time, taking breaks for pregnancies or injuries.''
QPL SEQ Cup Rd 9: Thursday - 6.30pm: Goodna Sapphires v Redlands; Ipswich Flyers v Pine Rivers. 7.50pm: Ipswich Vipers v Caboolture.