Courtney Hatchard of Blakeview has racked up an impressive 22 junior and six senior seasons across her 11 year career at Eastern Park Demons Netball Club, and that doesn’t account for the games she has spent umpiring or coaching.
Growing up watching her father coach and donate so much of his time to the club inspired Courtney to follow in his footsteps.
He has coached over 500 games, if my dad and all my coaches along the years can give up their time, then I can too.
“It’s also extremely satisfying seeing players have fun and assist them to develop new skills.”
On Australia Day Courtney was recognised for her unwavering commitment of the Eastern Park Demons Netball Club and their players, when she was awarded the Young Citizen of the Year through Playford’s Australia Day Awards.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions causing the netball season to be cancelled, Courtney coached three teams throughout winter 2020 ensuring the young players were able to continue to develop their netball skills and maintain social interactions throughout the pandemic in a COVID safe environment.
It was important to Courtney that as long as the players wanted to continue playing netball that she provide them an opportunity to do so.
“I wanted to allow them to come out and have fun while progressing their skills,” she said. “The pandemic shouldn’t stop that if we could provide a safe space for them. “I completed all required COVID safe training to become more educated so I could create a safe environment for the girls to train in.”
The award came as a surprise to Courtney. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. “The things I do at the club just come naturally to me.”
It’s hardly surprising to learn that Courtney is commencing her second year of studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education, majoring in Design Technology and sub majoring in Food and Textiles Technology.
“I wanted to teach hands-on classes as not everyone has aspirations of going to University and these types of classes provide practical skills that can be applied to everyday life, and are a pathway to a variety of trades.”
Providing fair education to all students motivated Courtney to become a teacher. “Students don’t choose to be at school, so I want to make sure they have the opportunity to select their study/career path and be themselves.”