Sport

Elmore netball star earns national recognition

By Brayden May

ELMORE netball star Ruby Barkmeyer is on the path to greatness, according to Bloods A grade coach Susan Borserio.

Barkmeyer’s already impressive career has taken another big step forward after she was named in Netball Australia’s 21 and under centre of excellence squad.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the squad has been selected with an eye towards the 2021 Netball Youth World Cup with tournament dates still to be confirmed.

“This is a reward for all the effort she has put in throughout the years,” Borserio said.

“Ruby is one of the hardest working people I know.

“I’ve known Ruby since she was 13 and she has always been a player who will always go quietly about her work.

“She is a coach’s dream. Some of the things she does on the court you aren’t able to teach.

“One of her most impressive traits is the willingness to bring teammates into the game. If she knows someone is having a quiet day, she will make a couple of extra passes to get them involved.

“It’s something that separates her from other talented players.”

Barkmeyer only played a handful of games for Elmore in 2019 due to commitments elsewhere, including with the Bundoora Lightning in the Victoria Netball League.

But Borserio said it was like the talented player had been at the Bloods all season long.

“Every time Ruby stepped onto the court for the club, she wore the Elmore colours with pride,” Borserio said.

“I’ll always remember the preliminary final against Colbinabbin. We didn’t start very well and were down by about eight goals at quarter-time.

“Ruby lifted her game and gave everyone else a massive boost. Unfortunately, we went down by a goal, but it was a tremendous effort.

“The support she showed for her teammates – some of whom she barely knew – spoke a lot of her character.”

And according to Borserio, the attacker’s commitment to the club extended well beyond the A grade side.

“Ruby put in a lot of time with our younger girls,” she said.

“Even now, she is passing on some of the fitness sessions from the Melbourne Vixens (where she is a training partner) to our junior players.

“As a coach, I’ve always wanted to give junior players a go in the senior grades and Ruby was the first one I gave that chance for.

“But the best news for Elmore is she will be back to play for us in 2021 if she doesn’t play for the Vixens.”

Australian 21 and under coach Kylee Byrne will take charge of the camp when it does go ahead.

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