Netballer Raylene Smyth
Netballer Raylene Smyth Tony Martin

Netballer holds her head high after racist taunts

NETBALL: Mackay Brothers netball player Raylene Smyth will represent her country and her heritage at a tournament in New Zealand.

Smyth was chosen for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team competing at next month's Kurangaituku Netball Tournament.

"It's pretty amazing," she said.

"I've had some pretty narrow-minded comments on the colour of my skin, but at the end of the day I'm proud of my heritage and really keen to represent my community and especially Australia as well."

To be chosen for the team, Smyth had to have played a state, national or international level. She competed at a national schoolgirls' carnival to qualify.

Smyth said the Kiwis would be tough competition.

The 18-year-old has been playing netball for 12 years since 2003.

Smyth's ultimate goal is to make the Whitsunday Sharks state team.

"I know it's a tough competition to make that team because there's so many fantastic players here but that is what I've got my goals set on," she said.

Smyth plays her regular netball in the centre position, but has played at goal attack and goal defence previously.

"I have received so much support from my family, partner and Bette Wyer - president of Brothers Netball Club," she said. "I would also like to thank the Services Union and Mackay Regional Council who have awarded me with sponsorships."

Smyth's mother Kim Smyth said it was a great honour for her daughter.

Wyer said it was "very exciting" for everyone knowing such a talent was part of the club.

"It's good for the juniors to know that there are opportunities out there," she said.

The tournament is on September 4-5.



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