Tara Hinchliffe is an experienced defender in the Suncorp Super Netball competition, and is set to make her debut with the Sunshine Coast Lightning after 4 years with the Queensland Firebirds. Tara has demonstrated great resilience, and the power of a positive mindset, in her rebahilitation following an ACL reconstruction during the 2021 season.
What do you love the most about playing Goal-Keeper?
I love the feeling that you have all the time in the world as the ball comes down court towards you. I can anticipate where the attackers will move, and trying to outsmart them is a massive challenge. There is no better feeling than coming out of the circle for a fly and taking a speccy intercept!
Have you always played in the defence end?
No, I started playing netball as a GA/GS with my sister Maddie and loved that at the time. Eventually, at around 12 years old, I grew taller (and Maddie was a better shooter than me) so I swapped down to the defence end and have never looked back!
Your mindset and how you have approached your ACL injury has been inspiring. How did you remain positive throughout the rehab process?
I was fortunate to have a lot of perspective at the time. I have been lucky to be playing in the Suncorp Super Netball for 4 years without any major injuries, COVID was a big concern and I had also watched my sister Maddie miss the whole season with a broken foot that required surgery. I was also surrounded by so much love and support, and knew I would be ok as soon as it happened.
What are you looking forward to most about the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season?
I’m really looking forward to seeing what life with the Sunny Coast Lightning is all about! There has also been so much young talent being signed across the league so I can’t wait to see what these new players can do!
What is the best thing about being a professional netball player?
My favourite thing is being able to be out in the community and have a positive influence on little netballers growing up. It doesn’t feel like long ago that I was the netty nerd looking up the elite players at the time! Also being able to play a sport that I love as a job is such a privilege.