Cartier Masthead Final Weeks

Win tickets to watch the GIANTS take on the Thunderbirds

Ashleigh Went

On Sunday 1 July, Bec Bulley will join her GIANTS teammates on the courts of the AIS Arena to take on the Adelaide Thunderbirds for the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball.

It’s been a good season for the GIANTS, who’ve secured five wins, leading six of their seven games at three-quarter time.

“So far it’s been pretty good,” says Bec, “we’ve only lost two games and we’re currently sitting second on the ladder, which is a good position to be in.”

While the Thunderbirds are currently sitting at the bottom of the ladder, Bec says the GIANTS won’t be underestimating their opponents.

“Adelaide are certainly improving. They’ve got a couple of players who’ve had long term injuries returning to the court. I think they’re starting to find a good rhythm and get a little bit stronger.”

This season holds special significance for Bec, who had originally planned to retire after winning a gold medal at the world championships while eight weeks pregnant.

“I knew that 2015 was going to be my last season. I won the premiership with the Queensland Firebirds and then went on to the world championship. Looking back, it was hard because I was so tired. When I announced the pregnancy, the team were like ‘oh, that’s why you were sleeping so much!'”

“It was great because we got to win a gold medal, and at the end of it I got to retire and look forward to starting a family.”

Then, something happened that changed the trajectory of Bec’s career: Netball introduced a landmark parental policy.

“There’s two parts to it” explains Bec. “The first part is that if a player should fall pregnant during the term of their contract, they will be paid their full wage up until the end of their contract, or a two year period. No other sport has done that, so it’s fantastic.”

“Also, should a player wish to return to netball after having a baby, there is a policy which allows them to have support, for example a carer will travel on away trips along with the baby. They also have a babysitter at training – they’re some of the things that I found really helpful in returning to netball after I had a baby.”

Previously, managing a netball career would have been near impossible for many parents of young children, and particularly for single mothers.

“I would have loved to have had a baby a few years earlier when I was a bit younger” admits Bec. “But, that meant retiring from netball to start a family, and I wasn’t ready to quit playing netball. It’s really sad that you had to wait until you’d finished before you had a baby.

“Sometimes that meant the players left it too long and had trouble falling pregnant, or finished their career too early. Now, you may see players who aren’t putting off having a baby for so long, because there’s support there.”

In addition to the support she receives from the league, Bec is quick to praise GIANTS Netball coach Julie Fitzgerald.

“She would have to be my favorite coach ever. The thing that I love most about Julie is that she stays calm, even when the game is close and everyone’s getting quite excited and stressed out. The calmer she is, the more it helps the players to stay calm, and I really like that about her.

“The other thing is that she cares about the person, not just about the athlete. She knows what’s happening in your life outside of netball, and she wants to do whatever she can to help and make sure that you’re able to play the best that you can.”

Do you have a female coach who you’d like to thank for their support? Tell us why you love your coach and you could go in the running to win ten tickets for you and your team to watch the GIANTS take on the Thunderbirds on 1 July. Entries close 5pm Wednesday 27 June, so nominate your coach soon!

The essentials

What: GIANTS Netball v Adelaide Thunderbirds
When: 3pm, Sunday 1 July
Where: AIS Arena, 26 Leverrier Street, Bruce
Tickets: Book online

Photography: Narelle Spangher.

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Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author

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