QDNA players almost fills up half of the SESA squad

NSW South East Sports Academy members going through their paces at training.
NSW South East Sports Academy members going through their paces at training.

There is a Queanbeyan feel to the NSW South East Sports Academy (SESA) netball program with 11 of the 24 selected coming from the town.

They are Madison Batchelor, Emily Bermingham, Amy Frost, Eleni Lolesio, Tatyana Ludwig, Jessica McDonald, Sophie McInerney, Vika Ngata, Claire Robinson, Hailey Ruyssenaers and Laura Sierant.

To be selected, they had to be athletic, show potential in improving skills, be enthusiastic, motivated and have the willingness to learn.

Manager of the academy Kelly Lolesio, who is also the Queanbeyan District Netball Association president, said the girls have been doing really well.

"So far, the AIS came in and did some fitness testing with them," Lolesio said.

"They've done off court mentoring type work as well as on court ball skills work and mental toughness.

"Now they're starting to move into match play."

Lolesio explained the aim of the academy is to help the girls be the best players they can be and to prepare them well enough to be ready to attend the NSW Academy games in Newcastle in April.

"The overall goal is for each individual to improve their own personal skills," she said.

Some of the other activities the players take part in include developing their netball IQ and gaining experience through academy challenges where the they play against other girls in NSW and through a high performance camp.

To add to Queanbeyan's success, Imogen Godfrey and Poppy Howell were selected in the development squad.

The academy began on Saturday, January 18 and ends with the YourClubs NSW Academy Games from April 3 to 5 in Maitland.