Lightning champion to lead the club in Super Netball season

March 20, 2024 9:53 am in by

Steph Fretwell (nee Wood) will become the longest-standing Sunshine Coast Lightning Captain after being announced to lead the team for the third consecutive year.

Fretwell was the first player signed for Lightning in its Foundation year of 2017, and has made a significant contribution to the off-court culture of the Club as well as the high on-court standards.

Supporting Fretwell, Tara Hinchliffe will hold onto her Vice Captaincy after cementing herself as an influential leader within the Club in 2023 where she spent her time leading from the sidelines with injury.

Article continues after this ad
Steph Fretwell and coach Belinda Reynolds at today’s captaincy announcement (pic Bruce Atkinson)

Australian Diamond Captain, Liz Watson will round out the Leadership team as the second Vice Captain, already forging valuable connections with her new teammates.

Steph Fretwell said that while she might be the Captain, it takes a whole team of leaders to achieve success.

“I feel immense pride to be part of this Club and to have been here since the beginning. I’ve seen a lot of evolution over the years, and we’ve had a lot of success, but I feel like we’ve got such an exciting group this year in particular,” she said.

“While I feel incredibly proud to be able to lead this group, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a little letter next to your name — each and every one of our players are leaders. It’s not just going to take the leadership group to achieve success, it requires the whole team to put their best out there. I can’t wait to see what we can do in 2024.”

Article continues after this ad

Sunshine Coast Lightning Head Coach Belinda Reynolds spoke highly of the 2024 Captain.

“Steph is an incredible leader because of her on-court leadership in moments that matter. She wants the ball in her hand when games are on the line,” she said.

“The consistency in her performance, her smarts of the game alongside her passion for the Club make her the ultimate competitor and leader. Steph drives the standards within our group, and I look forward to working alongside her to guide our team to reach its potential this year.”

When speaking about Tara Hinchliffe, Reynolds said she is a proud leader and one that cares deeply for her teammates.

“Tara is a well-rounded leader who leads both on and off the court. She is respected by our entire Club and consistently represents Lightning with such pride and professionalism,” she said.

Article continues after this ad

“She’s a selfless leader and has a significant influence on the culture at Lightning. I can’t wait to see her back on court in a formidable defensive line with Courtney and Ash.”

As a new member of the team, Reynolds said the appointment of Liz Watson into the leadership team demonstrated her ability to make meaningful connections.

“It speaks volumes that Liz has recently joined our team and has already been appointed into a leadership position,” she said.

“I believe Liz was voted in by her peers as she is an authentic leader who takes the time to connect with her team members and staff. I know Liz will bring strong on-court leadership with her high work ethic, dominant and consistent performance as well as sharing her knowledge to help develop our young talent.”