Community Grant gives Port Hedland triplets an opportunity to shine

Consolidated Minerals (Consmin) support young netballers

· Consolidated Minerals (Consmin) give significant support to young netballers through community grant program

· Jacinta, Roberta and Lauren Ramirez-Smith named recipients of ConsMin Community Grant

· The Port Hedland sisters generously nominate funds to support future generations of netballers at Southside Demons Netball Club

Three sisters from a small Pilbara town in Western Australia have been given an opportunity to play elite level netball and pursue their sporting dreams thanks to a Community Grant from Consolidated Minerals (Consmin).

Jacinta, Roberta and Lauren Ramirez-Smith (19) were recently named recipients of the grant and they nominated the funds to go towards their West Australian Netball League (WANL) club, Southside Demons to build a new Foundation (Be Part of Our Future) to support the next generation of netballers.

The Ramirez-Smith sisters grew up in the regional town of Port Hedland, situated 1,800km north of Perth, where they showed passion, drive and competitiveness for the game they love from a very young age.

Although being motivated to stay active in a regional town could at times be challenging, the sisters had ambition and hunger for playing netball, which gave them a great sense of community to bring people together to compete and support one another.

At age 14, the sisters had the opportunity to represent the North-West region at the Academy Cup Championship in Perth, an eye opening experience that gave them a glimpse into the future possibilities and progression through the Netball WA pathway.

The Ramirez-Smith family relocated to Perth in late 2016 to give the chance to pursue tertiary studies and opportunities to further advance their careers, and sporting opportunities.

In 2019, the hard work paid off when all three sisters were selected to represent Southside Demons in the WANL, which is the primary pathway to the West Coast Fever program for West Australian netballers.

Southside Demons Head Coach Josie Janz-Dawson said that the Ramirez-Smith sisters were incredibly deserving of the Consmin Community Grant.

“Lauren, Bobbi and Jacinta are hard to separate as they have such a deep connection that draws them together, both in training and in games.

“They have an incredible drive to consistently be better and do better, and it is amazing to get that out of one athlete, but to get it out of three - we are the lucky ones,” she said.

Janz-Dawson said that the support of ConsMin will have a significant impact on the future of the club and the generations of Demons players to come.

“As a young netballer from a small country town myself, Demons quickly became a family and the place where I was nurtured, supported and inspired to reach my potential, and I really want it to have the same impact on our future generations of netballers.

“As a club, we aim to celebrate and pay respect to Aboriginal culture through the game we love, and this grant will go a long way to supporting this vision. It really means the world to our club,” Janz-Dawson said.

Jacinta said her parents had sacrificed a lot for her and her sisters.

“My parents where the ones who encouraged and pushed us to study at university. They left their life in Port Hedland behind, where the majority of our family and friends live and sacrificed their own careers to move with me and my sisters to Perth,” Jacinta said.

She said she loves playing netball because she is continuously challenged and pushed to be the best player she can be.

“I love the idea of being able to work together in a team where you get that support and encouragement each and every training, and it’s really rewarding to see all of our hard work come together in games, whether we win or lose.

“Being Indigenous and studying, and playing netball is something that you don’t see every day (especially from country towns). So, what I think is interesting about my journey is when I look back at the progress and growth, and how I got to where I am today, I do enjoy reflecting on it.”

Lauren Ramirez-Smith said that cultural connection to land and to people is incredibly important.

“I’ve learned to take every opportunity that you are given and work hard to create them for yourself, even if it takes years. If you work hard and are committed, opportunities will come your way and that is for everything you do not just sports.”

In 2019, the Southside Demons players showcased the clubs first ever Indigenous Round Uniform with the support of a ConsMin Community Grant.

It was an opportunity to educate and show respect for Aboriginal culture and to celebrate Indigenous Round during National Reconciliation Week in a specially design uniform that represented Aboriginal people and their country. The lines around the neck and chest are representative of the Carawine Gorge where their sister’s grandmother was born on Njamal country.

The Southside Demons Club have continued to build knowledge and raise awareness of the importance of being an inclusive club and community and more importantly to allow the Indigenous players to build continued confidence and pride in their cultural identity.

The Ramirez-Smith sisters know that their story is unique, but that their journey is not so different from other young Aboriginal people growing up in country towns that are aspiring to be the best version of themselves.

Jacinta, Roberta and Lauren Ramirez-Smith named recipients of ConsMin Community Grant

UNITY-RESPECT-PASSION “It Takes Everything” 🔴⚫️

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