Yorkshire Jets player Sophie Halpin is returning home after a season playing in the Vitality Netball Superleague. She has written about her experience and the impact it’s had on her:
“Playing for Yorkshire Jets this season has been an emotional rollercoaster – so many highs and lows both on and off court.
Living away from home for the first time – and across the other side of the world – was so daunting. The whole experience has changed me and helped me grow as a player and a person.
I was fortunate enough to have my mum, dad and brother all come to the UK at separate times during my time in Yorkshire and experience some of this with me. I am even more fortunate to have had my amazing family in Scotland be so supportive, they travelled down to watch me play at various times and I was able to get away and see them north of the border.
I’m not heading straight back to Australia but to South Africa to visit Vanes (Du Toit). It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go to and I’m delighted I get the chance to do it with such an amazing friend, someone there is very little chance I would have met without Jets and Superleague.
Going back home to Sydney is going to be so different to my life here in the UK. I’ll be going back to full-time work and straight back to playing netball, this time for ERNA Hawks in our new Australian Premier League competition. I’m excited to go back and continue to challenge myself on and off court.
Jets have been amazing and so supportive over the past seven months. I have made life-long friends who I will definitely see again. The fans have been incredible, particularly in such a tough season, and I absolutely loved the fact that – even though I wasn’t from here – everyone was so welcoming and supportive.
I’ve also loved coaching in the UK – it’s been an absolute blast. Kids across Yorkshire show so much potential and they thrive and listen to everything you say, it made working with the girls at Jets Camps and Workshops so easy and gave me a huge sense of personal satisfaction.
Playing in the Vitality Netball Superleague, living in Yorkshire, competing for Jets has without doubt changed my life completely – in more ways than I thought it would. I’m incredible grateful for being given this opportunity and, who knows, I may be back…!”