"Management and the girls all accept you for what skills you bring to the team because they know not everyone is going to be the same and they use what strengths you have to benefit the team."
Greer Sinclair came into 2021 just grateful to have another opportunity to train with an ANZ Premiership team and now she’s already achieved one of her biggest goals for the year.
The defender joined the Robinhood Stars as a training partner, after being in the Splice Construction Magic system in the same capacity last year.
“When I first came to the Stars it was so welcoming, friendly and even being a training partner I felt included,” Sinclair said.
Sinclair worked incredibly hard throughout the pre-season and impressed head coach Kiri Wills.
With shooter Monica Falkner out through injury, Sinclair was rewarded with a spot in the playing 10 for the round two match against the Good Oil Tactix.
She got her first taste of ANZ Premiership netball in the fourth quarter, playing two minutes off the bench against the Tactix at wing defence.
“I think what's so important about this team is the culture and acceptance and diversity between all the girls, it's one thing that's so unique compared the the other ANZ Premiership teams,” Sinclair explains.
"It's the same thing on court, management and the girls all accept you for what skills you bring to the team because they know not everyone is going to be the same and they use what strengths you have to benefit the team."
Sinclair has made a further four appearances throughout the campaign and even earned a first start at wing defence during the round seven game against the Tactix.
So what made Sinclair want to become a defender?
"In primary school I used to be a shooter and a centre, then I just got into defence. I guess I'm quite tall, but not too tall which is why I think I got kicked out of goal keep, but I just really love defence." Sinclair laughs.
She’s been lucky enough to be surrounded by some of New Zealand’s premier defenders while at both the Magic and Stars.
"When I first went to the Magic I was buddied up with Casey Kopua and being a little girl coming out of school I was like oh my gosh. She's been such a great influence in my netball career and I used to always look up to her. To get to work with her and learn heaps in the defensive end was amazing.” Sinclair said.
Sinclair’s loved being in the presence of Anna Harrison at the Stars and like a sponge, Sinclair is soaking up every ounce of Harrison’s netball knowledge
"When I was in my last year of school I was lucky enough to go down to Ōtaki with the Mystics and Anna was in the Mystics and the one person who pulled me under her wing, it was so unreal to be amongst it. She's really the mum of the Stars group and if anyone has any issues or anything they can go to Anna and she'll have a solution."
Sinclair was hopeful of being involved in this year’s Under-21 Netball World Cup, before it was cancelled due to Covid-19. Despite that dream being cruelly dashed, Sinclair’s remaining upbeat and focused on what she can control both on and off the court for the remainder of the year.
"I want to finish my business degree and then hopefully get a full-time contract with an ANZ Premiership team."