Playing in Australia Benefits England Netball Defender
Geva Mentor is something of a celebrity in international netball; the game’s experts, commentators and pundits rarely discuss the sport without mentioning her. Having played a major role in ensuring that English teams can rival world front-runners in Australia and New Zealand, it comes as no surprise that she is now leading the way Down Under following her decision to take up the sport in the Australian league.
Success on the Court
Mentor was selected for England at the tender age of 15, back in 2001. Originally from Bournemouth, she left Surrey Storm in 2008 to join the Super Netball competition in Australia. After three seasons playing with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, which included winning a championship in 2010, Mentor went to Melbourne and joined the Vixens. More successes followed, such as winning a title in 2014 and MVPs in 2012 and 2014. 33-year-old Mentor is now with Sunshine Coast Lightning. In 2017 she led them as captain and won the Suncorp Super Netball Premiership against Giants Netball, a new franchise.
It was a tough decision for Mentor to make the move to Australia from the English Super League, with rumblings that if she left then playing her beloved sport for England in the future would not be an option. And although she was temporarily out of the England team for 18 months, her determination to remain in communication saw the ban lifted. She is now pivotal in preparing the England team for the Commonwealth Games in March on Australia’s Gold Coast and – with other England players following her lead – Mentor is firmly of the opinion that such moves are set to raise standards back on home turf when they return.
It Doesn’t Stop There
Geva’s talents – in both the UK and Australia – are well recognised by organisations such as https://www.sportplan.net and other coaching bodies who offer planned training sessions in a whole host of sports, including a netball drill training video and a collection of training plans and ideas.
On a grass-roots level, the national governing body for England’s biggest female team sport has calculated that at least one million women play netball each week.
And although Mentor believes that England is still behind Australia and New Zealand, the gap is diminishing and they could soon catch up.