Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Ever since Kadane Marshall started playing netball three years ago, she has not only become a role model for her peers at school, but she is also one of the island's most talented junior players.
Marshall, who stands at 5'11" and is a versatile defender, is the captain of the Holmwood Technical High School netball team and a national Under-21 invitee. The 19-year-old fell in love with the sport after she transferred to Holmwood from Bellefield High three years ago.
"When I just started playing netball, I could not catch the ball, and I didn't know how to play the game," said Marshall. "It took me some time to learn about the sport, and when I fully understood it, everything just started getting better and better for me," she said.
"I used to be a long-distance runner in grade seven and grade eight at Bellefield, but after I was transferred to Holmwood, I stopped running to take up netball as my number-one sport," Marshall said.
Now captain, Marshall led the Holmwood team to the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association rural area and all-island championships last season.
"I am very happy that I did this (netball) because I am now a member of the national Under-21 squad and I am also one of the starting defenders for the Waulgrovians team," she said. "My life has also changed because, since I starting playing netball, a lot more people recognise me."
Marshall, who is now a sixth-former at Holmwood, attained seven subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level last year.
The lanky player who plays goal defence, goalkeeper or wing defence, stated that she will be using the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) divisional leagues to fine-tune her skills, as she seeks a permanent place on the national Under-21 team.
"I come from in the country. They play netball, but the competition is not as strong as the JNA league, and so this will certainly help with my development," she said. "My aim is to do my best all the time so that I can become a starting member of the Under-21 team."
Continuing, she said: "It's a lot of fun playing for Waulgrovians, because it is one of the top clubs in Jamaica, and you also get a lot of recognition if you play for any one of the top clubs. So I am very grateful to be a member of their team," Marshall said.
Marshall is an admirer of former national defender Kasey Evering, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of the stalwart player.
"I like how she plays, because she sets a very high standard for herself whenever she is on the court," said the soft-spoken Marshall.
"I want to become the top Sunshine Girls defender in the future, and also to play professionally overseas."
She added: "Training is hard, but it is fun because I have been enjoying it. I am a very positive person and I have the will and the desire to be the best that I can be in life."