With the support of her new team-mates, England’s newest Rose, Kate Shimmin, is loving every moment in training camp and has hailed the character of the group as they prepare for the Vitality Nations Cup.
Shimmin’s journey to running out for the Roses in Cape Town started, and has been honed, on the other side of the world. The defender, who is eligible for England through dual citizenship, is from South Australia and grew up in the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide.
She began conversations with Tracey Neville about putting her hand up for selection by the Roses and was named in Jess Thirlby’s first Roses squad back in August 2019.
Following behind closed tours to Australia and New Zealand, Shimmin was selected for the end-of-year Test series in South Africa.
Having watched the first two Tests from the bench, she was selected the start the third in Cape Town and duly took to court for her maiden cap. The defender can recall the match as if it was yesterday and reflects upon it with a great deal of pride.
馃憢 Say hello to our newest Vitality Rose!Congratulations on making your debut, Kate Shimmin! 馃憦 pic.twitter.com/ADqOe8Wm1A
— England Netball 馃尮 (@EnglandNetball) December 1, 2019
“It was amazing. I’ve re-watched my cap a few times because it’s just so important to me,” Shimmin told Sky Sports.
“I just felt so honoured to be able to go out there and represent England but also to be a part of a really special group of girls and a team who are just so supportive and happy for me.
“This is a team where everyone is so accepting, no matter where you come from, your little quirks are embraced. It was a really special moment and I’ll always remember it.
“This is a new experience for me and I just want to soak up every opportunity that I get. I just want to enjoy it, learn from it and embrace the challenge.”
As a promising young sportswoman, who also thrived at volleyball, Shimmin took the decision to focus on netball and follow in the footsteps of other family members.
“I always played netball, my whole family are just big netball fanatics,” the defender said.
“My mum was my coach at one point and my sister lived and breathed netball, she was an Adelaide Thunderbird the year before I joined the team and it was just a big part of our life.
“My favourite thing about playing netball is playing in a team. You’re with your team-mates and you are part of something that, as a collective, you want to do together.”