AT RIGHT: Alstonville netballer Leilani Rohweder has made the NSW U19 team playing in the National Netball Championships.
AT RIGHT: Alstonville netballer Leilani Rohweder has made the NSW U19 team playing in the National Netball Championships. Narelle Spangher

Hard work pays off for netballer

DEDICATED netballer Leilani Rohweder has capped a busy 12 months with selection in the NSW under-19 team.

It comes off her first time representing NSW at U17 level with the National Netball Championships to be held at Brisbane in April.

She was kept busy with NSW training from January to April this year and went through a lengthy selection process this time while completing her HSC at Alstonville High School.

"I haven't slept this well all year and I'm so happy that everything is falling into place,” Rohweder said.

"I made plenty of sacrifices and it was a lot of hard work but we got there in the end.

"I had no expectations last year but I knew what it was about this time and set myself some pretty high standards.”

Rohweder plays netball in the Lismore district competition and is the only player north of Newcastle to be selected for NSW.

She plans to move to Sydney next year and has set the goal to play Super Netball and represent Australia.

"It can be a bit of a lonely process to trial from a regional area and you definitely feel like you have to work harder,” Rohweder said.

"It helps that I have a love for the sport and I'm really grateful that my parents and coaches have supported me.

"I do a lot of the travelling by myself; it will be great to play in front of friends and family at Brisbane.”

Down the years the championships have proven to be a crucial stepping stone to both the Super Netball and international stages of the game.

NSW's head of netball Nikki Horton said she was delighted with the standard on show throughout the trial process and wished the squad well.

"I think the selection process is always a long and difficult one, mainly because there are so many great players hoping to wear the NSW dress,” she said.

"Our selectors have been hard at work in both regional and metro areas to find the best talent and I think they have done an amazing job.

"The nationals is where many NSW Swifts and Giants (players) start out, as well as Australian Diamonds, so making our teams is a huge achievement for every one of these athletes.”

The National Netball Championships take place from April 10-16 at Brisbane's Netball Centre.