“Mum always says no friends on court!”
Little did Gold Coast schoolgirl Jada Gafa know, that the wise words from her netball-loving mother may one day extend to family.
For the first time in Netball Queensland history two sisters, Bryah Gafa (Qld 19/U) and Jada Gafa (17/U) have been named in the same year as captains of their respective teams for next week’s National Netball Championships in Perth.
The sisters were both named as captains the same day, with the coaches of the two Queensland teams making their decisions independently of each other.
“We thought it was amazing,” said Megan Lynch coach of the 19/U side.
“Neither of us (17/U coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser and Lynch) had spoken to each other about our selections, so to find out we had both selected the sisters as captains was fantastic,” she said.
‘No one can remember it ever happening before.
“There must be something in their genes.”
While the Gold Coast sisters are leading different Queensland teams in different age groups, both have their sights set on similar long-term goals, which may one day lead them to playing against each other or even competing for similar spots.
They are both centre court players.
‘I am more competitive,” claims Jada, who at 16 is the younger of the leadership duo and not worried about offending her older sibling.
But she is also just as quick to point out their similar strengths.
“It is an awesome opportunity for both of us,” Jada said.
“Bryah is a good role model and has good leadership skills, and we are both loud and outgoing.”
“I would have to agree that Jada is more competitive than me,” said older sister Bryah.
“I was vice-captain of the 17/U side a few years ago, so it’s a case of anything you can do I can do better,” she joked.
Both Bryah and Jada have been in Australian Talent Identified squads and are currently members of NQ’s Elite Development Program *(EDP), which is often a feeder to the Australian Diamonds Program or ANZ Championship teams.
“Mum was over the moon when we were both named as Captains and she will be coming to Perth to watch us compete,” said Jada.
“The whole family is very supportive,“ agreed Bryah.
“They are all coming to Perth even my Nan.”
“Jada is definitely more tenacious on court than her sister, but Bryah is a natural born leader. They both deserve their roles,” said Megan Lynch.
The Queensland 17/U and 19/U teams depart for Western Australian on Saturday with opening games in the national competition commencing Monday 11 April.
*(NQ’s EDP is a program designed to provide a high performance daily training environment (DTE) for those athletes within the nationally identified pathway as well as selected, identified Queensland talent.)