Busselton netball player Riley Culnane represents WA at national championships

South West Academy of Sport netball players Elycce Webb, Riley Culnane, Shantelle Tassone and Jessica Repacholi are preparing to play for WA in an Under-17 team at the upcoming national netball championships in Canberra.
South West Academy of Sport netball players Elycce Webb, Riley Culnane, Shantelle Tassone and Jessica Repacholi are preparing to play for WA in an Under-17 team at the upcoming national netball championships in Canberra.

Busselton's Riley Culnane is currently preparing to fly the flag for WA at the national netball championships held in Canberra in April. 

The 15-year-old talented athlete impressed at selection trials to beat other aspiring netball players from around WA to earn a spot in the state Under-17 team. 

Culnane said the process of narrowing the squad to 12 players from a pool of 60 was long and tedious but she's proud of her efforts.

"It's been a huge step-up from what I'm used to playing in the Under-15 team," she said.

"I'll be playing against girls who I expect are going to be tough competition and I imagine it's going to be a massive learning curve.

"The Under-17 girls are much stronger competition so we will just have to wait and see how we match up against the other state teams." 

Culnane, who also swims, plays basketball and soccer, said the love of sport runs in her family with her mum a former professional netball player and dad a former rugby player. 

Playing for her local club since 2013, she said she quickly fell in love with the game and she’s met most of her best friends through netball. 

Exhibiting passion and skill in defence, she loves playing in the position of goal keeper and trains three times a week in Perth in the lead up to the event in Canberra.

"It's been a little bit of a balancing act juggling school with training but it's all worth it in the end," she said.

"On Wednesday, we have a gym session and on Friday and Saturday we're on court for match and agility sessions.

"It's a huge responsibility and honour to be able to play and represent at this level. 

"I'd like to thank my mum who is also my personal coach and physio and my dad too who has always been there for me."