By Holly Slattery
ALLANAH Penny risked missing her own engagement party for an opportunity to play netball for Bond University.
The Victorian flew to the Gold Coast for a trial before returning to Victoria for her celebrations.
After being locked down for the best part of two years due to Covid, playing for the Bull Sharks was an opportunity she didn’t want to miss.
“It’s been pretty hectic,” Penny admits.
“The first trial was the morning of my engagement party in Victoria, so I flew up on the Friday night and did the trial on the Saturday morning before flying home.
“I had my engagement party and then flew back up the second trials on Monday morning.
“When I made the squad I was flying in on Mondays and flying home Fridays to get through two weeks of pre-season until we fully moved up here.
“It’s been nuts for me but in terms of pre-season it has been so much fun.
“Kim [Boland] is an amazing coach and she knows her stuff.
“It’s been good to be involved in such a high level of training.”
Penny has now relocated to the Gold Coast to study a Doctorate of Physiotherapy at Bond University and continue her 20-year netball career.
The 25-year-old moved from Winchelsea, Victoria, with her sights set on postgraduate study at Bond University where she will also be one of 10 new women playing in netball’s Ruby Series.
“I have just come off the back of two seasons that didn’t go well because of Covid lockdown in Victoria so I am really keen to get a good season going,” she said.
“I felt like I was always on the edge of making a good netball team but never really had the facilities or the coaching.
“To go to Bond as a student is amazing enough, and then to be able to access the high performance centre and the altitude rooms and everything is incredible.
“As a physio student I am nerding out about being able to train in these facilities.”
Penny finally arrived on the Gold Coast after an 18-hour drive from her hometown just west of Geelong last week.
The Victorian says that she is already excited for her new life in the sunshine state.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity and I'm super excited,” she said.
“My partner and I always wanted to come up to the Gold Coast but we’ve never really had a reason to.
“Obviously I’m a little bit nervous about managing the load of netball and doing a doctorate degree but my partner is super supportive so I’m feeling good about it.
“We’ve only been here a couple of days but we absolutely love it already.
“I can see us staying for a while.”
Penny will commence her two-year Doctorate of Physiotherapy in May while training five days per week as a new member of Bond University’s netball club.