23/04/2024

Queensland Firebirds captain Kim Ravaillion (Picture: Queensland Firebirds/Twitter)

Commencing her 10th season of national league netball, Queensland Firebirds captain Kim Ravaillion has the ultimate team success and the leadership of her side firmly as a focus this season.

After missing out on Diamonds selection for the Commonwealth Games, Kim Ravaillion will put a tough 2022 behind her. Being selected by the Firebirds players and coaching staff to lead the team for a second consecutive year, she’s relishing the chance to bring the championship back to Queensland.

Ravaillion spoke exclusively to The Inner Sanctum at the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball launch about the opportunity to take the reins under new head coach Bec Bulley.

“I’m incredibly honoured to lead a club that I love so much and so for the girls and the coaching staff to vote me in, [it] is just really special,” Ravaillion said.

“I just want to bring so much success to the club, that’s my main goal is to just bring success to the Queensland Firebirds.”

Asking what it meant to be the leader of the team she’s played with in her early career and then coming back, she describes the mentors she has had at the Firebirds who have helped her leadership skills develop.

“With all the experience I’ve had on court and having previous leaders in the Firebirds like Laura Geitz and learning from those girls, it’s really helped and really shaped who I am, who I am as a leader and what I want to add as a leader in this group.”

Alongside her in the group is vice-captain Lara Dunkley as well as former captain Gabi Simpson and young shooter Mia Stower. Ravaillion spoke about the current leadership group and what the dynamic in the group is like.

“It’s absolutely amazing having Gabi in the group, she’s been there and done that so having her to just go to for advice is so rewarding and really helpful,” she said.

“We’ve got a really good solid four with myself, Lara Dunkley, Gabs, and Mia Stower, who’s quite young but getting a wealth of experience up in the leadership role.”

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With the coverage of the game reaching bigger audiences due to the partnership with the league and Foxtel and Kayo, Ravaillion is hopeful for the exposure of the game. Reflecting on her love for the sport when she was younger, she spoke about how much the sport can grow as a result.

“[It is] so important [for the sport], particularly being a young girl and loving the sport when I was younger since the age of seven, to see where it was to where it is now, [we] obviously want it to get way more growth but we are on the right trajectory. Hopefully in the next few years we are the best sport in the world in terms of Women’s sport.”

After being appointed as the head coach quickly after the conclusion of the 2022 season, former NSW Swifts assistant coach Bec Bulley will take the mantle this year. Having been apart of the Swifts’ premiership in 2021, she is the perfect candidate to bring the new team together says Ravaillion.

“We’ve had a few months to settle in. Bec is a great addition to the Firebirds, she’s a tough coach [and] she makes us train really hard but the best thing that Bec has done is brought us all together and made us play for each other.”

Rebecca Bulley (centre) is the new head coach for the Queensland Firebirds. (Picture: Queensland Firebirds)

Taking to the court in the Constellation Cup in October last year, Ruby Bakewell-Doran made the rise from her first contract with the Queensland Firebirds to Australian Diamond. Now with two international caps for her country, Ravaillion detailed how she has seen her development over the last year.

“Last year was obviously a breakout season for Ruby, and this year she has made that goal defence position her own so [I] can’t wait to see to see what she’s going to do this year,” Ravillion said

“She is an outstanding defender and you know that as an attacker that if you throw a ball away that Ruby is going to get it back for you.”

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