RARING TO GO: RAVAILLION READY FOR BIG 2018

Tiarne Swersky - 10 January, 2018

We’re only two weeks into the New Year, but it’s shaping up as a big one for Kim Ravaillion.

With national commitments in the upcoming Quad Series, the Magpies’ pre-season, a new role in the leadership group and the Commonwealth Games squad selection looming, 2018 is off to busy start for this Magpies midcourter.

With a few sessions the Holden Centre under her belt to begin the new year, Ravaillion is now gearing up for the Diamonds’ January tour of England and South Africa, which will kick off after a three-day camp in Canberra this week.

“It’s crazy how quickly the Quad Series has come around. It will be good to get back together as a team again,” Ravaillion told Magpies Netball this week.

“This camp will be a great opportunity to boost our confidence and re-establish our team chemistry and structures.

“In the Constellation Cup, we were just starting to build solid baselines and connections, so we’ll look to continue to grow that in camp and build towards our first game against South Africa in London.”

After debuting with the Diamonds in 2013, Ravaillion became the first player to register an international debut before having played a national league game.

In the five years that have followed, the 24-year-old has won two gold medals, logged 47 national caps and been a part of two-league premierships. Did we mention she’s only 24?

But this season will present a new set of challenges for Ravaillion, with the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a big campaign with the Collingwood Magpies ahead of her.

The first port of call will be the January Quad Series, which will mark the final test series for the Diamonds before the Commonwealth Games.

And with a pressure to perform at an all time high, Ravaillion says she’s ready to embrace the challenge.

“This team is filled with incredible athletes. No spot is guaranteed. Therefore, there’s always pressure, but that’s a good thing.”

“The Commonwealth Games squad is one team I really want to be in, and I’ll do everything possible to put my hand up for selection, but I also know that I can’t put all of my expectations and hopes of making that team, because that’s when I don’t perform well. 

“For me, I know I need to enjoy playing and have fun playing, particularly in the January Quad Series.

“If I do that and focus on one game at a time, I know the rest will take care of itself.

“I always like to think of myself as the underdog, so if I go in with that mindset, I’ll have no pressure on me.”

Ravaillion is no stranger to the international netball stage. In 2014, she was a member of the Australian netball squad that won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

“It’s one of the best tournaments to be a part of and I’d love to make the squad again.”

“I had so many amazing memories from Scotland. We won the gold medal and I celebrated my 21st birthday there, so it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in my career so far.

“If I’m lucky enough to make the 2018 squad, I’ll be more of a senior figure in the team this time round, which would be surreal, but I’d relish the opportunity to represent my country on one of the biggest stages.”

As one of the more experienced Diamonds in the current Quad Series team, Ravaillion will look to develop her leadership on and off the court.

As of late last year, she took on a formal leadership role with the Magpies, having been elevated to the new-look leadership group at the Holden Centre ahead of 2018.

“I feel privileged to have been recognised as a leader of Magpies Netball. It’s given me a bit more of a platform to have more of a voice, which is something I’ve tried to work on in my game.”

“I wouldn’t say I speak often. I don’t talk for the sake of talking. But when I do speak up, I feel as though my teammates listen.

“I can’t wait to have a bigger voice on and off the court (both with the Magpies and Diamonds) and grow my leadership this year.”

Leadership isn’t the only thing driving Ravaillion in 2018. With time off over Christmas to reflect, refocus and refresh, she is ready to tackle a busy calendar year.

“You can get caught up in the fact that there is so much going on, but I know how lucky I am to do what I do everyday.”

“I love training. I love my job and I love my teammates. I know I just need to take on this year as it comes, and although it will get hectic at times, I just need to deal with the challenges as they arise.

“I play netball because I love it. There’s ups and downs, like in any job, but I’m enthusiastic, refreshed and ready for a big 2018.”

The Australian Diamonds kick off the 2018 Quad Series against South Africa in London on the 20th January.

You can view the full squad and the fixture here.