Forget 27 Dresses!
Queensland Fusion defender Demelza Fellowes is enjoying a long, colourful, memorable, varied and worldwide netball career, something that is mirrored in her collection of netball dresses, which currently hangs at 40.
So far spanning her 20-year career from the grassroots level, playing for Albany Creek Excelsior at Brisbane Netball Association at the age of 14, to the international stage representing the Diamonds, Fellowes has collected a dress from every team for sentimental reasons.
“I keep one dress from every team because every group that you play with has a little touch of magic,” Fellowes said.
“I look at the dresses and recall the best times, the good wins, the tough losses and the off court memories that make belonging to a sport like ours so special,” Fellowes said.
Fellowes hopes the maroon Fusion dress will hold a special memory after this weekend as the Queenslanders head to Melbourne to take on the Western Sting in the Australian Netball League (ANL) semi-final looking to book a historic berth in the Grand Final.
“After a couple of years out of finals, it’s super exciting to be playing for the Fusion in the ANL semi-finals this weekend,” Fellowes said.
“We’ve got an awesome group of young talent and old heads who are so proud to represent Queensland and when we put it all together or ‘fuse’ it as we say, we know we can do anything.”
“Let’s hope for a strong weekend and even an ANL premiership title and another memorable dress to add to my collection,” Fellowes said.
Amongst the 40 dresses, which includes club dresses, Queensland Schoolgirls, Queensland Fusion, Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS), Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Australian U21, Diamonds and not to mention seven ANZ Championship and Commonwealth Bank Trophy team dresses, Fellowes has one dress that holds a special place in her heart.
“My 2011 Matrics premiership dress from the South Australian Premier League is my most treasured because it is my only premiership one out of the 13 grand finals I have played in for club, be it State League or National League, I have only won one,” Fellowes said.
“I was playing against Carla Borrego from the Thunderbirds and it was my 10th year being with Matrics and my fourth crack at a premiership with them.”
“It is also the team where I played with five of my best friends in the whole wide world,” Fellowes said.
Even though the dresses were only supposed to be worn on the netball court Fellowes said there was of course some fashion nightmares.
“Of course my favourite is the Matrics premiership dress, which is maroon with navy and gold stars but I also love my Queensland Open State Team dress which is maroon with navy and white stripes.”
So what does one do with 40 netball dresses, with one more to be added in the 2015 ANZ Championship season?
“I plan to cut a patch off all of them and either put them in a frame with a plaque of the team or make them into a patchwork quilt,” Fellowes said.
“Netball has also impacted my life in such a major way that when I’m old and grey and even when I’m gone, I would like to make sure something tangible is left behind as a token for others to remember ‘she was a netballer and netball was a big part of her life.”
“I don’t want the memories to die with me, and I would like to hope that if any of the next generation in my family want to pursue netball, there is something that they can have that carries my career,” Fellowes said.
SEMI FINALS DRAW – Waverley Netball Centre
Saturday, August 23, 5:00PM
Victorian Fury v Netball NSW Waratahs
Saturday, August 23, 7:00PM
Western Sting v QLD Fusion
The Grand Final will be played on Sunday at 12noon with the 3v4 playoff at 10am.