12 Jul Kiwi import Ruth Swaney
The Bell Post Hill netball club have certainly finished up the winners, when an opportunistic visitor from “across the ditch” arrived at the club earlier this year. Ruth Swaney is having a brief Aussie stopover on route to London from her home in Nelson, New Zealand. She has taken the chance to spend some time with her brother in Geelong and his link to the Geelong Rangers Soccer Club led to the netball connection with the Panthers. Ruth started her career as a 5 year old and played in high standard junior competitions in NZ, before taking leave from the game during her University studies. Now a fully qualified physiotherapist, Ruth eased herself back into the game three years ago and was quick to look for a new club when she arrived in Australia in April. Word had made its way to Ruth that Bell Post Hill were short of players and as she was staying nearby, a drop in to a Panthers training session quickly followed and the club had a new star recruit.
She has had two major learning experiences with the game in Geelong, with last Saturday’s horrendous storms on an outside asphalt court a far cry from the timber floors in the warm and dry indoor arenas in New Zealand. Ruth was also a regular wearer of the “C” bib in NZ and getting used to the unfamiliar surrounds at wing defence has made the transition to Aussie netball all the more interesting. She is thoroughly enjoying her time at the club, despite the lack of on court success and has found the girls at Myers Reserve a most hospitable group. The Panthers sit on the bottom of the A Grade ladder with only one win, but some promising performances have shown they can compete favourably when a full list is available. Ruth has added some much needed experience to the group and her knowledge and passion for the game has been an asset to her young teammates.
Ruth is due to commence the final leg of her journey to London in August and hopes to play at least 6 more games before leaving the club. The GDFNL has certainly benefitted from her time with us and we hope the experience may lead to other cameos in coming years, as the young star seeks to reacquaint herself with the new teammates from the “Hill”.
We congratulate and thank Ruth Swaney for her brief, but positively productive time with us in Australia and I’m sure the memories of her time at Bell Post Hill will last a lifetime.