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What drives All Star Sam Wallace

Sam Wallace is all about endurance, love and precision when it comes to reflecting on her stellar playing last year, and creating goals for 2020. The 26-year-old  from the New South Wales Swifts recently took time out of her busy schedule in New Zealand to talk with us.

Wallace’s career with the Swifts started in 2017, when she moved from Trinidad and Tobago to focus more seriously on her Netball career.  She is incredibly close to her family and found it difficult being separated from them. Through adapting to the drastic move and her admirable dedication, she has excelled in her goal shooter and attack positions.

‘I think it all depends on how much you really want it, the goal you want to achieve,’ she says.

While she trains with her team, she also practises shooting separately before and after these sessions to improve her goal shooting. She consistently shoots 500 goals per training day which is reflected in her 93% accuracy rating for goals.

Last year, her career reached new heights as the Swifts became champions in the Super Suncorp Netball League, halting the Sunshine Coast Lightning from winning their third consecutive year with a 64-47 win.  Wallace won the Most Valuable Player of the match.

However, she remains incredibly humble when asked about receiving the honour;

‘Yes it’s a great achievement, but to me it’s all about the team.’

‘I don’t think there’s an I in Team. There’s no way I could’ve gotten MVP without these girls, we all did our part.’

She does add, however, the great significance the award had for her.

‘On that note, it meant everything to me. Not only to me, but it meant so much to my Dad because he actually watched the final game.’

Wallace mentions her father, as he had a second stroke during her 2019 season and faced the difficult decision of whether she would play or not. As she used her wages to pay for her father’s care and knew the importance of her netball career for him, she ultimately decided to play the season and make him proud.

‘I think my main takeaway from last year especially was resilience. My father passed away at the end of the season where I had to fly back home to Trinidad – that has been the hardest part of it.’

‘It was hard, going through each day playing netball, knowing that I was doing it for him. He kept me motivated. I believe he will also be keeping me motivated during 2020, even though he’s not alive.’

We’ll see much more of Sam Wallace in 2020, hopefully continuing her powerful professional achievements on the court.

‘I’m looking forward to keeping up my accuracy. I’m looking forward to growing as an individual and still changing up my game a bit – because I know people be looking at me,’ she chuckles.

‘As a team, we just want to grow together. Keep the sisterly love going – that makes us much better on the court.’

She also urges young girls to have the same passion for sport that she does, and offers encouragement to up and coming athletes.

‘When you love what you do, you get the best result ever. The sky is the limit, and you have to work hard, nothing is given.’

Wallace’s next milestone will be playing in the All Stars team in the Diamonds v All Stars Bushfire fundraiser on March 1st.

‘I’m feeling really pumped and excited. It’s really good to actually get picked to perform in such a good event.’

Get tickets to the event here.

Story by: Gabrielle Egan

Image credit: Stephanie Meek Photography

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