FOR most year 12s, the prospect of VCEs is enough to keep them cooped up indoors with their heads buried in textbooks.
But for 18-year-old Jemma Osborne (pictured below), tacking an undefeated A grade season onto her final year of school is a no-brainer.
The youngest player in the side, Osborne was recruited by coach Belinda Lees at just 16 after her skill and willingness to put in the hard yards made her a standout on the court.
With one premiership already under her belt, the only direction is up for this young rising star.
“It was pretty awesome to start off with last year’s win and to continue on to another successful season this year,” Osborne said.
Speedy and dynamic in wing attack, it’s no wonder Osborne has climbed through the ranks at such a rapid rate.
However, she puts much of her success down to her teammates’ faith in her.
And the wisdom she constantly soaks up from the older, more experienced players around her.
“They’ve all been so supportive of me from day one,” she said.
“I feel all the girls put a lot of faith and trust in each other. No one goes onto the court worrying about another player fulfilling their role. We just focus on ourselves and doing the best job we can do.
“Each of the girls is a role model to me and each of their different qualities inspire me. I love Mango’s (Ash Mangan) determination and Belinda (Lees’) smarts. Often Belinda will ask us to do something and I’ll think, ‘What are you doing?’ Then it just works.”
Heading into the second grand final of her short A grade career, Osborne said the prospect of this weekend’s game is already making her queasy.
“I get so nervous. Last year I couldn’t sit down, I was so nervous. I was up and in my netball dress at 9am,” she said.
And while the added pressure of an A grade grand final may seem like the last thing a year 12 student needs, Osborne says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Netball is actually a great release from the stresses of school. It’s an exciting thing to look forward to besides study,” she said.
“And while I don’t know what the future holds after year 12, I’d definitely love to continue playing with the girls.”