While taking on the best at the recent Netball World Youth Cup 2017 in Botswana, Ashburton’s Kate Lloyd was not alone.
Alongside her team-mates, she also had the support of her parents Sharon and Wayne.
We have all had an amazing time and are so proud,” said Sharon.
“Botswana is an amazing place and they have really turned it on for the World Cup.
“Their hospitality is fantastic and above and beyond what we all expected.
“The event is massive for the whole country and they wanted it to work well so everyone can tell the world how great their country is, and we certainly will be.”
With a strong passion for their national team evident from day one, the country was nearly sent in to hysterics when they nearly made it in to the top eight.
“Every game was like attending a concert,” she said.
“We had a school supporting us all tournament and the singing and dancing that went along with them was amazing.
“The girls were treated like VIPs throughout with police escorts to take them everywhere and kids just swamping them wherever they went.”
Lloyd said the three years of preparation and dedication that had gone in to the tournament from a lot of the players showed.
The most testing game, naturally, would prove to be the final against Australia.
“It was an amazing, close, rugged game and the girls held their composure and fought to get the win,” she said.
“Who would of thought Ashburton would have a world champ.
“I can’t explain how proud we all are of Kate and these girls.”
The trio will now spend some time in Bali for some rest and relaxation.
By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 19 July 2017