From school comp to international career
WHEN St Luke's Anglican School netball coach Robyn Deer first saw Bundaberg's Ameliaranne Ekenasio (nee Wells) compete at the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball tournament, she knew there was a potential star in her team.
Ekenasio, who now plays for New Zealand, played for the school from 2005-08 at the event before playing for the Queensland Firebirds and Central Pulse in the ANZ Championship and ANZ Premiership respectively.
The Kiwi shooter is in rare company when it comes to the QISSN - she is one of just four players to compete at the tournament and represent the Firebirds.
The others are Lara Nilsson, Candice Adams and Gemma Mimi, who played for Clairvaux Mackillop College, Marymount College and Carmel College respectively.
Mimi is currently on the Firebirds team that is competing in this year's Suncorp Super Netball.
Ekenasio was at the Firebirds from2011-14 and her success did notsurprise Deer.
"She's a great export, a lovely girl and great player and was always a team player,” she said.
"She's very special.
"She was always a very tall girl, a strong player and her mum really backed her, as well as the Bundaberg Netball Association.”
St Luke's also played a massive role in setting her up for an international career.
"When she came to us in Year 9 in 2005, she hadn't played netball at all, it was her first time,” Deer said.
"She's doing really well now and playing really well.”
Ekenasio is now preparing to compete at the Netball World Cup, which will be held next month in England.