Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Fitter and more focused for 2016 - Harwood

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2016 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Harwood

After the disappointment of missing out on a place in the Sunshine Girls' netball squad to the 2015 World Cup in Australia, popular goal shooter Thristina Harwood is determined to get back to her best and retake her place as one of the most reliable shooters in the national team.

The UWI student admitted that school commitments hampered her ability to train consistently with the team last year, which led the coaching staff leaving her out of the final World Cup squad. But although she thought the decision was a just one, she admitted it was disappointing.

However, the 21-year-old who had an outstanding collegiate season with UWI and appears to be rediscovering her best form revealed that she has been putting in a lot of extra work on her own outside of her regular training time in order to shed some of the weight she has gained, maintain her fitness and help her return to the top of her game.

"I think it was an okay decision (being left out of World Cup squad) because I had extra classes and I was really missing a lot of training, and you know school comes first," she recollected.

"So, days when they had fitness sessions, I could not make it because I had classes, even night classes. So I totally understand when they said I was not fit, and it is true. I wasn't fit enough to go (World Cup). As far as shooting and movement are concerned I have that, but fitness plays a major part in games, so I totally understood that," she told Saturday Sports.

Going to school and representing the national team is very challenging as Harwood has found out, but she has made a commitment to get back to her best and has started putting in the groundwork so that when the next Sunshine Girl assignment comes around, she will be in the kind of shape she needs to be in, in order to stake her claim for a place in the team.

UWI's success this season was largely down to the 2013 Fast5 MVP, whose long-range shooting and movement in and around the circle, was unmatched and she intends to build on her progress.

"I am very serious for this year because I want to get back to the old Thristina. I have shed a little weight because I gained a few pounds ... . I will have classes and I will miss a day or two (of national training), but I am also going to play basketball, so that will help to keep my fitness level up. You can definitely look out for a new Thristina Harwood, new physical appearance, much fitter, and playing excellent netball," she stated.