Collingwood Magpies netball coach Nicole Richardson has given a young fan a day she will never forget.
After seeing netball enthusiast Maddie in tears following the Magpies’ win against the NSW Swifts on Saturday, Richardson decided it was time to take matters into her own hands.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Magpies netball coach kind act for emotional young fan.
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“I saw Maddie in the stands after the game, she was down on the fence waiting for the girls to come up and just completely overwhelmed with emotion and a lot of tears,” Richardson said.
“I just went up to her and said I hope those are happy tears.
“She cried even more and the tears kept on rolling, and I kind of thought to myself, you know, we actually need to bring this kid into the changeroom.
“As soon as I saw Maddie I thought, it’s really important for our girls to see that the type of brand of netball that they put out on court, that they can inspire and overwhelm a supporter and fan in Maddie.”
Maddie was near inconsolable at the kindness of the coach.
“I’m Maddie, I’ve been a Collingwood member for two years and I just had the best day of my life,” she said.
“They are my favourite team, I love them so much,” she said.
“Just the way they play, their community together, I just love them.
“I didn’t believe it was actually happening, like, I was in there with all the girls that I’ve loved for so long, that I’ve been supporting since I was so little.
“Insane, favourite memory.”
The excited fan was taken to the rooms following the game and spent time with the players, as well as being part of their post-game huddle.
Collingwood made a dynamic start to their 2023 Super Netball campaign after recording an impressive 71-63 win over the NSW Swifts.
Behind a standout performance from Jamaican defender Jodi-Ann Ward, the Magpies dominated Saturday’s season-opener at John Cain Arena to record their first round-one victory since 2019.
The Swifts were not only gunning for their first-ever victory over Collingwood in Melbourne but they were hoping to exact some revenge for being knocked out of last season’s semi-final race by the Magpies in the final game of the regular season.
But the home side came out firing to lead by seven goals after one quarter and extended their advantage to 10 by halftime with the Swifts unable to contain the combination between midcourter Kelsey Browne and shooter Shimona Nelson.
Swifts coach Briony Akle made numerous changes in an attempt to find a winning combination and the visitors challenged the Magpies in the second half, recovering from 13 goals down in the fourth quarter to trail by five.
But Collingwood remained poised in the closing minutes to secure the win, Ward locking in player-of-the-match honours after tallying nine gains, seven deflections, four intercepts and three rebounds.
Collingwood will look to build on their impressive start to the season in next Sunday’s derby clash against local rivals Melbourne Vixens while the Swifts travel to South Australia for a date with Adelaide Thunderbirds on Saturday.
– With AAP.
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