Friday, 14 August 2015

ON HER MIND: Star baller Jhaniele Fowler-Reid reflects on family, team spirit and finding bliss

HOW STRETCH: "I am always looking for ways to improve myself," shares the 25-year-old sharp shooter.

Life is a journey from which you never stop learning, and the lessons have tremendously helped me to improve and be a better person. Netball is the best example because being a Jamaican international has its perks, but there are a lot of major challenges to deal with. You learn to cope with different situations and deal with pressure on and off the court. I can proudly say I have become a much stronger individual over the past few years, and the sport has had a lot to do with that.

Every year, I am in New Zealand from January to July for the ANZ Championship. I play for the Southern Steel, so whenever I’m there I stay in Invercargill, a place that is extremely different from what I’m used to here in Jamaica. But the people have been warm and welcoming, so I feel at home. I miss Jamaican food mostly when I am in New Zealand. The food is a bit bland, so most of the time I prepare my own meals in the Jamaican style. From I was a little girl, cooking has been one of my passions.

Time flies. I’ve been a mother for the past six years now, and I’ve had to get used to the whole balancing act that comes with being a grown woman and a responsible adult. But I think I have been able to achieve that balance, thanks mainly to my husband. He makes it all possible. We’ve been together for seven years, and it keeps getting better. My daughter is also a big help because she is very understanding. She understands that I’m not going to be by her side all the time because of work, and I think she has been coping well.

The Netball World Cup is just around the corner, and the Sunshine Girls are in it to win it. I’m very confident of our chances going into Sydney. So far the preparations have been going well, and we have decided that we’re going to be playing in the championship final to win the gold. The ultimate aim is for us to rise to number one in the world, and I think we have the calibre group of girls to do just that. We are going all out to bring home the gold to Jamaica.

At age 25, I am pretty pleased with where I’ve reached on this journey, but I’m always looking for ways to improve myself. A t this point, I wouldn’t use the word ‘satisfied’ to describe how I feel, but I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself. My family and I live comfortably, and this year I was ranked as one of the top five players in the world. So what can I say? I am in a happy place. – As told to TALLAWAH Magazine

Read More:
> INTERVIEW: Meet Jill McIntosh, Technical Director of Jamaica's senior Sunshine Girls

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