As the new Suncorp Super Netball season approaches, the Sunshine Coast Lightning have been working on finding the fun at the club once again, after the seriousness and uncertainty of 2020.
As Mahalia Cassidy explained, that has come through team bonding with a range of different sports.
“In the pre-season we explored outside of the netball arena and we went and did some other sports,” she said.
“We dabbled in archery, and we went to a session with the USC rugby boys, which was incredibly fun and entertaining.
“It helps with the team bonding and getting to know some of the girls that I haven’t known before as well.”
After coming back from a second ACL injury, Cassidy stepped out onto the court for the Queensland Firebirds in round one of last year’s SSN season with one thing on her mind: relief.
However, as a new SSN season approaches, Cassidy will be taking to the court for cross-town rivals the Lightning, having moved during the off season.
When discussing her move, Cassidy said she was looking for a new challenge.
“I just felt like it was the right time for me,” she said.
“And it was just an opportunity at the Sunshine Coast Lightning that I couldn’t give up.
“Their values and what they stand for really aligned with what I stand for and I just felt it was a really good fit.”
“Personally, it’s been cool to move up to the coast, I studied up here, [it’s] obviously a lifestyle that I really enjoy.
“So outside netball, I’m really happy which always reflects on court.
“I think If I’m happy in my general life then it usually reflects with a successful on court performance.”
And the Lightning is not just a good fit personally, but on the court as well as Cassidy explained.
“They’re [the Lightning] a very defensive team and that’s part of my game that I want to improve,” she said.
After making the return from injury, Cassidy put in a strong season for the Firebirds, playing every game.
To get through injury free was something Cassidy was proud of, as she explained.
“It was a bit of feeling of relief to get out there and play the first game and to be able to play a full season out,” she said.
“And as the season went on, I just got better, got more comfortable, and started playing more consistent netball, which was something that I was really proud of.”