Diamond has sights on gold

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

After a long off season, Melbourne Vixens defender Jo Weston has both a fresh Super Netball campaign and the biggest competition of her life to contend with in April.

Australia’s Diamonds are one of her “two really special teams”, and are about to reunite her with old friends – and sometime foes – as the reigning Commonwealth Games champions defend their title on the Gold Coast.

“It’s pretty crazy to be honest,” she says. “I use the word surreal a lot. It feels really exciting, they’re a great group of girls and support staff and it’s an honour to be in the mix. I also get to play alongside some of my fellow teammates who I played with in the under 15s then under 21s and now we’re in the Australian team together so that’s really cool.”

Jo, now 24, spent two years at the Australian Institute of Sport with Gabi Simpson and Courtney Bruce, who are both in the Commonwealth Games squad along with Vixens teammate Liz Watson.

Friends and foes

While most of her Diamonds teammates are opponents in the Super Netball competition, a strong team culture brings them together. “It just permeates through. We have to trust in each other that we’re doing the best we can in training while away from each other and that puts us in good stead when we do get together.

“The Games will be the biggest competition I’ve been a part of and also the only multi-sport competition we get to be a part of so that makes it quite special. Having it on home soil is also going to make it exciting, knowing we’ll have the support of our home crowd.”

“I’m planning on soaking it all in. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I think the vibe and atmosphere will be really great.”

Jo is eyeing up South Africa and Jamaica as tough contenders in Australia’s pool, while perennial rivals New Zealand and England in the wider competition will be looking to dislodge the Diamonds’ crown.


‘The Battle’ kicks off  Super Netball

Jo’s Vixens season kicks off shortly after the end of the Games, with Melbourne derby match ‘The Battle’ against the Collingwood Magpies on 28 April.

She says that hitting the court with the same 10 Vixens as last year, and the time they have had to build relationships and strategy, will give the team a boost this season. “It seems like it’s been a very long off season and we’re looking forward to getting out there.”

With the Vixens finishing third in last year’s inaugural Super Netball season, reigning premiers Sunshine Coast Lightning and runners-up the GWS Giants will be the teams to beat.

“I know netball tickets can be hard to get hold of because it’s such a popular spectator sport but we’re looking forward to having as many people as possible cheering us on, even if it’s on the TV screen.”

WANT TO WATCH JO?

  • Catch the Diamonds on the Gold Coast playing in four Commonwealth Games pool matches between 5 and 11 April. The gold medal match is on 15 April.
  • The Melbourne Vixens and Collingwood Magpies open the Super Netball season at Hisense Arena on 28 April. RACV is the Vixens’ premier partner and members save 10 per cent on Vixens 2018 memberships and Super Netball tickets. Go to racv.com.au/discounts.
Written by RACV
March 20, 2018