Matilda Garrett is a young and talented Australian Netball player who has recently made the move to Adelaide to join their Suncorp Super Netball team, the Thunderbirds. Tilly has written a great piece into her journey in the Super Netball COVID hub, changing teams and moving cities.
2020 was a crazy year that taught me to embrace change, grow from hardship and appreciate the little things in life. Like many others, last year was my hardest year to date.
My team in 2020 only won one game, which in a normal season would be very difficult to cope with. No one likes losing! Being in a hub and playing two games a week only amplified the emotions that came with losing and at times it was difficult to switch off from thinking about netball. I was really lacking confidence. Regardless of the difficult season, I was and still am extremely grateful that the Suncorp Super Netball League was able to go ahead during a year of so many uncertainties. There are always good things that come from challenging situations and the hub and contracting period in 2020 was an experience in which I definitely grew from.
Contracting can often be a daunting period in an athlete’s journey. This was no different for me last year. As I was lacking confidence in my ability, a change in environment was something I knew I had to consider. I want to continue to grow as a player and person. Change can be scary but for me so was the thought of being stagnant.
When Tania Obst (Adelaide Thunderbirds Coach) reached out, it was evident that she believed in me and my netball abilities. I needed to hear this. For me, telling the Collingwood girls I was moving clubs, was the hardest thing about changing teams. After reflecting and writing this piece I feel very fortunate that it was difficult letting the Collingwood girls know I was leaving, as it meant I had built really strong relationships with them. When the news came out that I had officially signed with the Adelaide Thunderbirds I received an overwhelming amount of support from my family, friends, my new teammates, Collingwood girls and fans. This really warmed my heart.
Friends and family often asked me whether I was scared to be moving states and my answer was always “no”. I am a very social person and the thought of getting to meet and play with a whole new group of girls really excited me! It also made it easier knowing one of my best friends from Melbourne, Samantha Gooden, had also just recently signed to play for the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Hannah Petty, my World Youth Cup captain, was a part of the team as well.
Transitioning from Melbourne to Adelaide has been really enjoyable for me. Compared to busy Melbourne, Adelaide is like one big country town. Traffic is non-existent and if you’re driving further than 20 minutes, it is considered a long road trip (in Melbourne it could take me 20 minutes to drive 2kms down the road haha). The coffee is also really good in Adelaide! From the moment I have arrived my teammates and club have welcomed me with open arms. I am thoroughly loving training, the new drills I am learning and building relationships with my teammates.
Having a good work/life balance is super important for my wellbeing. Since being in Adelaide I have just started working at Gleeson Secondary College where I am coaching aspiring students and when the semester starts back, I will continue my university degree at the University of South Australia. I was offered this job before moving over to Adelaide and knew I could do cross institutional studies, which also helped with my transition in moving states.
I look forward to what this year brings! I hope everyone is healthy and staying safe! Thanks, RDK for asking me to write this piece, it was nice to reflect and share a bit about my journey!