South Island School teen netball star on what happens when she can't say "no"

South Island School teen netball star on what happens when she can't say "no"

Alex Allum-Pearce loves the physical and mental challenge of netball, a high intensity sport - but it comes at a price sometimes


Playing netball is an all or nothing deal.

Alex Allum-Pearce is an all-or-nothing kind of athlete. “The feeling of playing and leaving everything I have, both physically and mentally, on court is amazing and immensely satisfying,” she says.

The 17-year-old student from South Island School is a netball sensation, and has been playing at national level in Hong Kong since she was just 13.

“I first joined the junior netball programme at the Hong Kong Cricket Club and my school’s netball team when I was 12,” Alex says. Shortly after starting the sport, she joined the U14 regional academy run by the Hong Kong Netball Association. “At that point, after receiving training from some of the top coaches in Hong Kong, I really fell in love with the sport and the skills and dedication it demanded.”

A year later she was on the Hong Kong Under 21 Squad. “This was a pivotal moment for me as I was suddenly playing with girls much older and more experienced than me,” Alex says.

Over the next few years Alex continued with the national programmes, travelling abroad with the U16 team three times, captaining the team twice, and also moving up into a ladies club league.

Netball: A worthwhile challenge

“The Under 21s team has opened many doors for me and I have had opportunities to travel to Perth and Canberra in Australia, and Aukland in New Zealand on training tours and also compete against other countries in competitions such as the Tri-Nations Tournament in January 2015,” she says.

The hardest thing for Alex when it comes to being an athlete she says is being able to say “no.”

“I always want to play and I struggle to say no to an extra game or training session, even when I’m exhausted and need a rest,” she says. “I feel awful letting my coaches and teammates down and I always end up agreeing to doing far too much.”

On top of netball, Alex also plays rugby at school, club and national level. “Sometimes, I can be on the move from 3.30pm to 11pm. I might have to rush from a school netball session to a national rugby training and back again for a netball game. It can get pretty hectic at times,” she says.

Alex fell in love with netball at school, and finds it hard to say “no” to other sports.

Bench Notes

What song/movie title best describes you when you’re playing your sport?
Remember the Name by Fort Minor. The lyrics are a constant reminder of everything it takes to be a good sportsperson: dedication, handwork, skills and the love for what I’m doing.

You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
The ability to manipulate time. I’d be able to fit in all the extra training sessions and games I want to go to and also get some extra time to work (and sleep!).

If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be and why?
Training kit. I have a crazy obsession with sports clothes – understandable considering I spend most of my time in them!

10 years in the future, you are a famous athlete. What company do you sign on as spokesperson for, and what product do you promote?
Asics. I’ve been a dedicated user of their netball shoes for years and I honestly can’t think of playing in anything different – they’re amazing on court, super versatile and have something to suit nearly every player.


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