Two in a row for St Joseph’s

St Josephs Stanthorpe QISSN netball team celebrating their second win in a row.

By Tania Phillips

Messages from home and support from the community have been credited with helping St Joseph’s School, Stanthorpe to back-to-back wins in the Queensland Independent Secondary Netball competition.

The team won their second QISSN title at Townsville on Friday in front of large contingent of supporters and family who travelled north for the event.

Seventy teams from 65 different Independent school across QLD took part in this year’s QISSN competition over numerous divisions based on the size of the school.

Coach Kayelene O’Dea said the team ended up playing 10 games of netball across the five days.

“The schools we played were Columba Catholic College Charters Towers, St Michael’s College Merrimac, St James Lutheran College Hervey Bay, Gilroy Santa Maria College Ingham, St Catherine’s Catholic College, The Whitsundays, St Anthony’s Catholic College Townsville, Calvary Christian College Mount Louisa,” she said.

“In the quarter finals we played Saint Mary’s Catholic College Kingaroy winning 18-7.

“In the semi-finals we played Gilroy Santa Maria College Ingham winning 14-7.

“Then in the grand final we played St Anthony’s Catholic College Townsville winning 15-9.”

“It was a team effort all week, we were very fortunate to have 10 valuable players who all played a vital role in getting us to the point of playing off and then winning the shield for the second year in a row.

“Comments were made to me several times throughout the carnival how well the team worked together and used every player. I was also impressed with the behaviour of the team both on and off the court.

“They loved cheering on other teams and offering words of encouragement.

“It has been a privilege to coach these girls, they all have a love of the game and were enthusiastic to learn as many new strategies as possible to improve their game play. It was a very proud moment for me seeing them win their divisional final on Friday.

“All those early morning training sessions were worth it.”

Team manager Sandra Ellis said it was a prestigious competition with a waiting list to get into it.

“There are eight divisions and we played in division eight, we are a small school, other teams pay their coaches and have fulltime coaches coaching their netball teams,” she said.

“Our coach and manager are both volunteers and we give up our school holidays to go with them because they are such a wonderful group of girls and we love to do it.

“It’s a fairly high level competition its probably the highest level that our girls ever play in and it teaches them a lot about the game of netball.”

Ellis said there was a lot of support from the community for the team, from fundraising just to get the girls there to messaged of support sent to them on live stream on the way to games.

She said the school had done really well over the past three years in the division which was not only due to the support of the school but the local netball association as well.

“With the growth of the Stanthorpe Netball Association and the support that the committee has given to netball in this community we are now seeing that come through in the quality of netballers in our school,” Ellis said.

“It takes a whole community to have a success like this.”

Team captain Bridgid O’Dea, named the team’s MVP for the tournament said it had been exciting to be part of the team.

“I am so proud of every member our St Joey’s team,” the captain said.

“They all played amazingly and should be so impressed with themselves.

“I feel honoured to get to play my last QISSN with such an amazing group of girls. A huge shout out to Mrs O’Dea for her commitment and belief in the team.

“Both her and Mrs Ellis have given up many hours to get us ready for QISSN.”

There were four year 12 students in the side who will leave the school and team before the next carnival.

However the core of the side – six players will still be available for selection again next year when the team travels to Bundaberg for QISSN 2025.