The journey of a Firebird
LAURA GEITZ knows just how hard it is to springboard from the regional scene into the national spotlight.
The Queensland Firebird and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, pictured, shared her experiences growing up in Allora, on the Darling Downs, during two netball clinics at Nambour and Noosa over the weekend.
After a session running eight to 15-year-old netballers through ball skills and footwork, Geitz spent 30 minutes answering their questions.
"I know the difficulties growing up in non-metropolitan areas," she said.
"But at the same time regional athletes can turn out to be some of the best in the country.
"I faced a lot challenges living in a regional area, such as travel and balancing high school with training."
Geitz was flanked over the weekend by fellow Firebirds Ameliaranne Wells and Romelda Aiken.
This year's ANZ Premiership-winning side heads into pre-season training on January 11.
"Going back to back winning another premiership is high on our list, we've got to be bigger and better than before," Geitz said.
"We're the team everyone wants to beat next year, so we have to raise the bar.
"Personally I want to have an injury-free year. I say it every year and I was lucky in 2011.
"The main thing as well is to keep enjoying it, it's a little thing that goes a long way to enjoying the game and the girls you play with."
Just last month, Geitz played with the Australian Diamonds to beat arch rivals New Zealand 44-41 to clinch the Holden Netball Test Series, retain the Constellation Cup and reclaim the world number one ranking.