Sixteen-year-old South Island School student Kate Shepherd leaves it all on the court every time she plays netball.
“When you go out on the court you have to give it your all, you should never come off with any regrets or saying ‘I should’ve tried harder’,” she says.
But Kate didn’t always take netball so seriously. “I started playing when I was 12 just as a way to have fun with friends, and began training properly when I was 14,” she says. “I had always loved sports, so the idea of playing a new one intrigued me.”
That spark of interest was all it took, and soon Kate was a rising star on Hong Kong’s netball scene.
“My friends and I joined our school team,” she says. “I later joined the Hong Kong Football Club playing in the junior league before moving into the ladies league this season.”
Kate says her proudest achievement was when she made it onto the Hong Kong U16 National Development Squad.
“Not only was this a clear marker to show the pay off of training, but it also gave me the confidence boost to push myself further,” she says.
Additionally, Kate was nominated for school sports girl of the year at SIS, which she says ranks as one of her greatest achievements.
But for Kate, being a top athlete isn’t all about strength or speed.
“It’s not just a physical challenge. To be a good netball player you need to be mentally strong, too, and be prepared for every game,” she says.
“Pushing yourself through the tough times and rallying is the mark of a true athlete,” she adds.
Kate now looks forward to the next step as she climbs the netball ladder in Hong Kong.
“My ultimate goal would be to get into the U21 Hong Kong National squad,” she says, “and to always feel that I have done everything I could in every game I play.”
What song/movie title best describes you when you’re playing your sport?
Hall of Fame by The Script because it motivates me to push myself further.
You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
Teleportation, this would allow me to get from one training session to another. And it would help me get around the court much faster!
If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be and why?
Sports wear. I am in sports clothes every day and would love to be able to wear different outfits every time I play sports.
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?
Nike, I love their sports clothing and their attitude to sport – that success isn’t given, it’s earned. Anyone in the world can be part of their “Just do it” approach, in sport and other areas of life.