Shine: The Making of the Australian Netball Diamonds

Shine: The Making of the Australian Netball Diamonds2016-08-02T09:00:06+10:00
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      Shine: The Making of the Australian Netball Diamonds

      Shine - The making of the Australian Netball Diamonds

      We are delighted to announce that our book, Shine: the making of the Australian Netball Diamonds, will be released in late September. It features the stories of 12 of our brightest stars of the modern era, and goes behind the scenes to provide insights into one of Australia’s most successful high performance programs.

      Following the success of the Diamonds at the Netball World Cup in 2015, Finch Publishing asked us to write a book about some of Australia’s most famous players. Despite female athletes having a stellar year in general, it was a considerable risk. Just 8.7% of total media coverage is devoted to women’s sport, less even than horse racing.

      However, Finch believed in the project. They believed these women’s journeys would inspire and motivate us. That we would applaud their courage and commitment, and share their heartaches and frustration. That we could learn some valuable lessons from the way in which these women devoted their lives to becoming some of the best athletes in the world.

      We were asked to tell the stories of 12 current and recent Diamonds; to give you an insight into their professional lives. As their working timelines have been similar, we have focused on something unique to each player. You will read about their fight for greater media recognition, their battles with injury and non-selection, how they’ve overcome self-doubt or a drop in form, and how girls from the bush can make it onto the world stage. Family members also talk about sharing the life of an elite athlete.

      The stories of our players wouldn’t be complete without adding some context. We wanted readers to gain an insight into elite sport, to understand some of what our athletes experience during preparation for a major tournament. We couldn’t cover the long and detailed history of Australian netball in this book, and had to choose a small window to peer inside. We chose to shed some light on the most recent four year cycle. Shine has started with the selection of Lisa Alexander as the Diamonds coach in 2011, and followed the team until they won the Netball World Cup in 2015.

      However, we recognise that the Diamonds success in this event was built on the back of the work of generations of outstanding coaches, players and administrators. Their dedication and commitment has been the key to Australia’s ongoing success, and while their contribution to netball is outside the scope of this book, we pay tribute to them.

      Shine was made possible through the enormous support of Lisa Alexander (Head Coach, Diamonds), Kate Palmer (CEO, Netball Australia), Noeleen Dix (then President, Netball Australia). They allowed us unprecedented access to high performance coaches and support staff, who in turn gave us an insight into their roles, their work and their thoughts. It has been fascinating to be allowed a glimpse inside an elite sporting team.

      The twelve players who committed to this project have been unstinting of their time, sharing not only their triumphs and successes, but some of the most difficult times in their careers. Shine is a tribute to their generosity, candour, professionalism and passion for their sport. We hope the stories of these exceptional women will challenge and inspire you.

      This is not just a book for women, but for anyone who enjoys sport. The Diamonds are one of Australia’s most successful teams, of either sex. The Netball World Cup has occurred every four years since 1963; of 14 titles on offer, the Diamonds have won 11. They hold three Commonwealth Gold medals, and are currently first in the world netball rankings, never having dropped lower than second. They were voted the Team of the Year at the 2015 AIS Sports Performance Awards (ASPAs), while Lisa Alexander was the Coach of the Year in 2014. It is a remarkable record.

      Over the next four weeks we will release the names of the twelve players included in this book. For brief player profiles, latest news and events in the Shine world, or to get in touch with the authors, please visit

      To stay up to date with the latest news, including a competition to win one of five free copies, please connect with us on social media.


      Jenny Sinclair & Megan Maurice

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