Maddy Proud On How Netball Is Taking Centre Court In 2017

Proud’s stoked that Australian netball has come far enough that many players, including herself, no longer need to work day jobs to subsidise their incomes.

Age: 23

Team: NSW Swifts

Comp: Suncorp Super Netball, inaugural season Feb 18 to late Jun 2017

Position: C (Centre)/WA (Wing Attack)

Originates from: Adelaide, SA

How did you start playing netball?

I was a huge tomboy growing up so played any sport I could; my two brothers and I were always outside playing. My mum played when she was younger, which is what first got me into it. All my friends at school played too so it was a great way to spend time with them. 

What appealed to you about netball?

I loved how fast and physical the game was and the skill it required. I played a lot of other sports growing but loved how much teamwork was involved in netball. I played a lot of tennis when I was younger but always got so bored and lonely being out on the court by myself.
What do you love most about netball?
I love the friendships and bonds you make with your teammates. There’s no better feeling than winning a game with the girls you’ve shed blood, sweat and tears with for months beforehand. 

When did you become a netball player?
I became a professional netball player when I was 16, when I signed to the Adelaide Thunderbirds. (I played with them from 2011 to 2016.) I was about to start year 12 and at the time was the youngest player to be contracted to an ANZ Championship team (the previous pro netball league). A few months later, one of my best friends got signed to the team and stole that feat from me (thanks a lot Cody Lange!). 

Do you work in another job as well as playing netball?
Last year I worked part time in a community development role at a local council. I’d have to go from training in the morning, straight to work and then back to training that afternoon. The competition has changed this year, it’s becoming more professional, which means many of us don’t have to work as much; it gives us more time to do appearances for the club or study at uni; I have a Marketing Degree and I’m in the process of getting a book published – a teen-fiction novel about a girl starting high school and playing netball, set to be released in early 2018!

Do you look forward to the day when sportswomen won’t need to work to subsidise their incomes?

I do. I think netball in particular is well on its way to becoming fully professional. Over the last five to 10 years, netballers’ salaries have dramatically increased. And the profile of female sport is increasing every day. 

What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
I’m so excited to play my first season of Suncorp Super Netball with the NSW Swifts. Everything about this year and season is new and exciting. 

What would you say to a woman toying with the idea of trying netball for the first time?
Give it a go! It’s such a fun sport and a great way to stay fit and make friends. People of all ages and ability can play so there’s nothing stopping anyone. 

In what ways does netball benefit your health and fitness?
Netball requires speed, endurance, strength, agility and power so we have to be well-rounded athletes.

What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?

I’m pretty much an open book but some people might not be aware of my Justin Bieber obsession. I’ve been a Belieber since the very beginning.

Discover what the Women’s Health initiative WinS is and how you can get involved here.

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