RIVALES: Sisters Giahn and Mikenah Swinbourne always have a tough on court battle.
RIVALES: Sisters Giahn and Mikenah Swinbourne always have a tough on court battle. Renee Albrecht

'I have to beat her': Gympie netball's biggest rivalries

SPORTING rivalries always add excitement to a game and there are some great sibling rivalries playing out on the netball courts in Gympie's Hyne Street.

In Gympie, there are 380 netball players. Among those are at least six sisters who love nothing more than to come up against each other on the court.

Giahn and Makenah Swinbourne have no love lost when they are playing each other - it is a battle.

They both play Centre and always bring something different to their games to keep the other guessing.

"We give each other a hard time on the court and there is always a bit of push and shove,” Giahn said this week.

"We both know the way each other plays, which makes it easier on the court because I know what she will do. I try to change it up and always try to keep her guessing when I come up against her.”

Giahn said she always tried to play even harder when she came up against Makenah.

"It is fun because we know how to push each other's buttons on the court but we can have a laugh,” she said.

The sibling rivales Ashleigh and Chelsea Parker, Giahn and Mikenah Swinbourne, Carol Flickweert and Jeanene Munn and Jasmine and Caitlin Munn.
The sibling rivales Ashleigh and Chelsea Parker, Giahn and Mikenah Swinbourne, Carol Flickweert and Jeanene Munn and Jasmine and Caitlin Munn. Renee Albrecht

"When I play against Makenah it is similar to normal play but with a bit more body on body to be the better one and have it over the other.

"She has only beaten me once - last year. I am the eldest and I always have to beat her but I have noticed she has gotten better.”

Despite the stiff competition against her sister, Makenah said her skills were improving.

"The best thing about playing against Giahn is that it makes me play better,” she said.

"Every time I play her I notice improvements in my game but it is also much fun.”

With the duo playing in the top sides, Makenah said "it is always competitive because our teams are very similar in our skills and have been close to beating them but have not quite gotten the win.

"My goal is to beat my sister's team. I have been training hard to get there, so hopefully a win is not too far away.”

Defender Jasmine has the height advantage over her sister, Caitlin Munn, but Caitlin has the speed.

Gympie Netball sisters playing together Caitlin and Jasmine Munn.
Gympie Netball sisters playing together Caitlin and Jasmine Munn. Renee Albrecht

"I know Caitlin is faster than me but I read the ball and the game better than her because I have more experience,” Jasmine said.

"I like to see what Caitlin can do when I verse her. It is fun to see if she can do things that she can't and we can learn more from each other and grow as players.”

It will be a tough clash for these two, with Jasmine using her height to her team's advantage but Caitlin is hoping to improve to her sister's level.

"It is pretty hard but eventually I try and get the ball off her. I work on my skills during training because I want to be better than my sister to find a way to get around her and improve my passes,” she said.

"My long range shooting is pretty good because I can't compete with Jasmine's height at the moment.”

Goal Keeper Carol Flickweert is the student who has become the master over her utility player sister, Jeanene Munn.

Gympie Netball sisters playing together Carol Flikweert and Jeanene Munn.
Gympie Netball sisters playing together Carol Flikweert and Jeanene Munn. Renee Albrecht

"We are usually right next to each other and sometimes it hurts. Because we try so similarly we end up in each other's space,” Carol said.

"If there is bad contact there is always a hug or a kiss afterwards but it is all left on the court.

"She taught me how to play when I was five; she was my first coach and my skills have improved.

"This is our first season playing against each other but I would prefer her on my team because she is good. I try and step my game up a level because I don't have her on my team any more.”

Despite playing off and on against each other for years, Carol and Jeanene find a way to make it fun.

"I don't like playing Carol because I know how good she is but I like her on my team because she is a winner but it is always fun,” Jeanene said.

"I prefer not to play a position against her because you don't do the same as you would against someone else because it's your sister.”

Netball is played in Gympie on a Monday night from 4pm at Gympie Netball courts.

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