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The Everitts: How Zara and Darcie both look up to each other

Darcie Everitt spent years looking up to her sister Zara, but it is more of a two-way thing these days.

Not only because the 18-year-old goal keeper stands four centimetres above her 24-year-old sister, though that helps, but because the pair are now teammates at London Pulse.

Darcie was elevated to Pulse’s squad of 12 ahead of the 2024 season, meaning they now train week in, week out alongside one another.

Your first Netball Super League season can be hard enough, never mind when your sister is the captain, but the younger Everitt revealed the combination has worked well despite some initial trepidation.

“It has been a lot better than we thought,” said Darcie. “When I was a lot younger I thought it would be a lot of Zara just shouting at me but now it is very supportive.

“I have always looked up to Zara and having her next to me is quite inspiring. It is nice to also have someone to always look to pass to and be there to support me the whole way.”

 

 

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A post shared by Darcie (@darcjessicaeveritt)

Darcie has also balanced her debut Super League season with her A-Level studies but is determined to continue pushing on with her ascendant netball career.

Her Super League ambitions were born watching her sister and the pair are now intent on pushing each other on.

Darcie added: “Because Zara and I play in a similar unit I have always looked up to Zara. When Zara played for Mavs when she first started, that was what inspired me to carry on playing netball.

“What she has achieved has made me want to push to get into the Super League. It has been really helpful to have her there as extra motivation.

“Now we are at a similar age it is more competitive, we can compete against each other and that’s what pushes us to get better.

Credit: Ben Lumley

“This whole season has been during my A-Levels which has been stressful but also a good learning experience and a good way of forcing myself to be organised.

“ It’s all changing next year but I am still pushing to be in a Super League team and get court time. I am ready for it and next year I am looking to get into a 10.”

While Darcie has taken her first Super League steps this season, Zara has firmly established herself as a key part of the London Pulse side looking to go one better than last year’s Grand Final defeat.

Her role as captain means there is little room for special treatment for her younger sister, but she admitted there is an extra satisfaction in seeing Darcie flourish.

“From the beginning, we both tried to approach it that when we are at training we treat each other like teammates,” said Zara.

“I treat my teammates all the same hopefully, it is just about mutual respect and trying to get the best out of each other.

“I definitely feel a little bit more pride when she does step out on court and probably put a bit more pressure on her than I would my other teammates, but I have been so happy to see her come on and perform whenever she has had the opportunity.

“In training, she is really pushing our defenders to step up and prove they are the ones in the seven and that spreads across the whole squad. It is so important for us to have such a good bench that are pushing us all the way.”

With Darcie studying and Zara pursuing her legal career, training also affords the pair precious time together that is seldom on offer elsewhere in their busy schedules.

For Zara, it is also a chance to turn the tables and get some tips from her younger sibling.

“We have quite a big age gap and at the moment we don’t live together, so coming to training is the one time we get a bit of sister time,” she added.

 

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A post shared by Darcie (@darcjessicaeveritt)


“We definitely try to make the most of that and like in any team we have our opportunity to vent to each other about a game. It is helpful to have someone who is unconditionally there for you.

“I don’t think I am ever going to get the extra two inches, but I have definitely got things to learn from her and I am sure that will continue.

“Now she gets more turnovers and interceptions than me, so I have to step up my game.”

The sisters will look to continue to push each other to greater heights for the final two weeks of the season, as Pulse eye a first-ever Netball Super League title.

And Zara is hopeful they have learned their lessons from their Grand Final defeat to Loughborough Lightning a year ago, as the two sides meet in the semi-final this year.

“We just want to get the trophy this year,” she said. “It was really tough to miss out last year and hopefully we have fixed up on a few things that led us to let go of the lead in the final. We are looking forward to facing up against Lightning next week.

“The more we play in those big arenas and in tight matches against really good opposition, everyone is gaining experience and learning how to deal with pressure.”

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