In every edition of The Thunder you will meet one of your fellow Adelaide Thunderbirds supporters. Each member will share with you their favourite netball memories, who joins them at the games and what match they’re looking forward to in 2018. First up is John Heddle!
Netball plays a huge part in the lives of the Heddle family. With John coaching and his two daughters Mikayla and Lauren playing the game, the trio virtually live at Priceline Stadium during winter.
“It’s not unusual to be busy every night due to netball commitments,” John said. “There’s a common understanding among our friends that if they ask, ‘Where’s John?’, the answer is usually ‘Oh, he’s at netball’.
“Netball means a lot to us because we love the sport and the people involved. There are so many dedicated people volunteering their time to make it all happen and it’s a privilege to be part of it.”
For the 2017 Suncorp Super Netball season John, Mikayla and Lauren became Adelaide Thunderbirds members.
“I previously booked tickets for all the games and sat all over the stadium. We are now sitting amongst the action and with keen netball supporters. It’s a great feeling to be supporting the Adelaide Thunderbirds and being part of the pink army,” John said.
Ahead of the 2018 SSN season, we caught up with John to chat about his favourite netball memories and players, and what he is looking forward to in the new season.
What is your favourite Adelaide Thunderbirds memory?
My favourite memories are from the early days winning premierships with Marg Angove. The netball was amazing and very tough. In 2017 it was amazing watching local young talent Gia Abernethy, Sasha Glasgow and Charlee Hodges from Contax hitting the court, and being there for Renae’s last game.
Who joins you at Adelaide Thunderbirds games?
I watch the games with my daughters Mikayla and Lauren, and many other friends from the local Netball SA community. Netball is a great way to spend time with my daughters and we love seeing these awesome athletes in action.
Who is your favourite netballer?
I have many favourite players from both past and present, and am sitting on the fence here as it’s hard to pick just one! So many I’ve met have been wonderful, taking the time talking to my girls and encouraging them. They are committed, amazing athletes and give so much back to the netball community.
Past Adelaide Thunderbirds and Australian player, Sarah Sutter is inspiring, courageous and one of the best. She set goals and achieved them throughout her career. She is the Contax number one ticket holder and an inspiration to all our girls.
Is there a game in 2018 you have already earmarked as a blockbuster?
I’m looking forward to our game against the Vixens. We should match up well and the full court pressure they put on teams is tremendous. It’ll be a real test for our new line-up and I’m sure we’re up for the challenge.
To add to your highlight of being there in Round 14 to celebrate the career of Adelaide Thunderbirds champion Renae Ingles, at the game you were the lucky winner of a brand-new Mazda 2 Neo, donated by Adelaide Thunderbirds major partner Mazda. It’s now been six months since you drove away in the car, how are you enjoying it?
This was perfect for us as we needed a new car, and with my daughters out and about to netball all the time I can relax more knowing they are safe and in a lovely reliable new car. I couldn’t have asked for anything better and to win through netball was very rewarding.
The Mazda Neo is so economical with Skyactiv Technology, which is good for the environment and my pocket. This was an amazing experience in my life to win such a valuable prize, and again I’d like to thank Mazda and the Adelaide Thunderbirds.