Illawarra’s Kristin Mercer has played an important role in NSW’s victory at the recent Marie Little OAM Shield in Perth.
The team defeated South Australia in 11-10 in the final after travelling through the competition undefeated.
The national tournament was set up by Netball Australia in 2013 to provide women with intellectual disabilities with the opportunity to play in a national competition.
Kristin regularly participates in the Disability Trust Eagles program, a weekly program run by Karina Franke that provides individuals living with disabilities in the Illawarra region with the opportunity to learn netball skills.
Franke has coached Kristin for the past three years and has been impressed by the way Kristin has grown throughout that time. Kristin was awarded most improved last year before being named Disability Trust Eagles player of the year this season.
“Her confidence is the most noticeable improvement in Kristin, she’s also become a good mentor and member of the team.
“Her demeanour’s really changed from a participant to a mentor.”
Jenny O’Keefe, coach of the NSW team, was proud of the effort her team gave throughout the tournament.
“The idea for us was to walk away knowing that we had done absolutely everything that we could and we were happy with how we played and to win it was an absolute bonus,” she said.
The victory marked the third straight time NSW has won the tournament. Kristin has been a member of all three winning teams.