CAITLYN Nevins knows how lucky she was growing up.
With a basketball hoop in the backyard and netball courts and football ovals across the road, she had everything any young sportsperson could want.
But she didn't get to the heights of Australian netball on luck alone.
“Passion and love is incredibly important,” she said.
“But you have to work hard and take the most of your opportunities. If you have a dream and are willing to put in the work, it will send you a long way in this world.”
Echuca's Nevins called time on her career in Super Netball with the Queensland Firebirds in August, a year after deciding to give the game away.
“I decided at the end of 2018 that I was going to give it away at the end of 2019, so I spent all of this season really just enjoying it,” she said.
“The relationships you make on the journey, the opportunity to spend every day with your friends and play the sport you love, that's what this year was about for me.
“Unfortunately we had a lot go against us this year so it didn't end in the fairytale I would have liked, but I absolutely loved this season.”
Now, after two post-season knee surgeries, Nevins is taking some time enjoy retirement.
But she will be in town on February 17 as the guest speaker for the 2019 Sportstar Awards at the Moama Bowling Club.
On the night she will tell her story from upcoming player in Echuca, to premiership star of Super Netball, to the ultimate prize of any Australian netballers career - wearing the green and gold for the Diamonds.
“Netball in Australia is such a strong sport,” she said.
“So, even though you dream of it, you almost assume you will never get a chance to play for the Diamonds, so even a few years later I am still pinching myself about getting to play.
“I made my debut against the Silver Ferns, a team we have such a rich history against. Standing there during the anthem, it sends shivers down your spine, and I still get that way just thinking about it.”
The Sportstar awards are presented by Echuca Travel Centre, Moama Bowling Club and the Riverine Herald.