SHE was told she was “too young” to represent Samoa at the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow earlier this year.
But 16-year-old Queanbeyan netballer Cassidy Lole is still hopeful of booking flights to the Scottish capital as part of Samoa’s senior side at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Next week, Lole will take to the court for NSW at the National Indoor Netball Championships in Sydney. The teenager is one of just two non-Sydney players to have been selected in the state side.
And she’s hoping state selection will prove the next stepping stone in fulfilling her long-held dream of representing Samoa on the international stage.
Commonwealth Games trials will take place in Samoa early next year with Lole looking to make up for the disappointment of missing out on donning her country’s colours at the World Youth Championships in August.
“I actually got selected in the [Samoan] team for the World Youth Championships but then I found out I was too young to compete so that was pretty devastating,” she said.
“We’d flown over to Samoa just to trial for the team but it turned out I was a year too young to be eligible.
“I’m still hoping to play for Samoa at the Commonwealth Games though so I’ve got to fly back over for trials next year and see how I go.”
Competitors in the under-21s based World Youth tournament are required to be at least 17 years of age.
Shorter term, Lole said her selection for NSW had validated her decision to test herself in the Sydney grade competition this year.
Lole was commuting between Queanbeyan and Sydney up to three times a week during the season to play for Fairfield while also taking to the court for Tuggeranong in the Canberra competition.
But Lole said rather than prove a drag on her commitment, she had used the additional travel requirements of playing and training in Sydney as motivation.
“It’s just a mind game really,” she said. “I think I have more motivation to push myself and perform better because of the travel and the effort my family and I have to put in just to be there.”