Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, last year’s graduate, Giselle Taylor (19) is succeeding on and off the netball court.
Giselle received a bursary scholarship from St George’s College in 2020 along with a renewal of her Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) scholarship and although the pandemic has limited the opportunities to play outside the state, she is still shining on WA netball courts.
Giselle was selected for the Australian Netball League as a training partner and also for the under 19s state team before both were cancelled.
“Luckily the Western Australian Netball League was able to continue and I have been playing for the Southwest Jets League Team as the assistant captain,” she said.
Giselle has also been picked for the West Coast Fever Academy, which provides high-performance training for netball players in conjunction with the Western Australian Institute of Sport.
Off the court, Giselle is studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education with a major in Health and Physical Education Studies and a minor in Home Economics at ECU.
Her success with her studies and as a netballer according to Giselle, is her ability to be driven and the support provided by her network of family, teachers and coaches.
“My family, in particular my Mum and Dad, together with my coaches have had a really big impact on me,” she said.
“The help from my teachers and their flexibility, helped to get me through school. Mrs Chiera did so much for me last year to help with exams and timetabling. SWAS and WAIS also have been really supportive,” she added.
From this year of ordeals, Giselle has overcome the challenge of staying motivated through the transition to an online world. Not being able to play netball for part of the year was also difficult for her but 2020 did provide Giselle with some positive aspects.
“I have had more time to catch up on uni work and gain off-court fitness. I was also able to get stronger mentally and physically and spend more time doing things that I wouldn’t normally have opportunity to do. I also got to realise what I was really passionate about and recognise that we have so much freedom in life,” she explained.
Her dream is to one day play for the Australian Diamonds national netball team as well as the Suncorp Super Netball Team. Giselle also hopes to become a PE teacher in a specialist school and to work in rural and overseas schools.Perhaps her dreams have been inspired by the teachers who shared their love of netball with Giselle.
“Leonie Sutherland was my head of house, one of my PE teachers, my netball coach and also a really good mentor and friend. She was always determined to push us all to be the best that we could but also knew my limits.”
“Michelle Reinders has also had a lasting impact on me as a netball coach, a good friend and an extremely good teacher. I have used many of her study techniques throughout uni so far and know that other students do too,” she said.