Netballer 'Sunshine Sammy' adapting to life Down UnderWednesday, May 05, 2021
BY HOWARD WALKER
Jamaican netballer Shamera Sterling has not only taken her precocious talent to Australia, but her Jamaican culinary skills.
After initially grappling with them, she has finally acquired the taste of the food and culture in the Land Down Under.
“I've been in Australia for three years now so I'm used to the culture and food now,” said Sterling.
“During my first year I struggled with the food, but once I've learnt that this will be my life for some time I had to get used to the food,” Sterling pointed out.
“There is no Jamaican restaurant or anything, but what I did is that I took my own seasoning to Australia, like my Maggie and curry,” she added.
The 25-year-old Sterling, who recently resigned with Australian club Adelaide Thunderbirds, has been making waves where she has been selected on the Australian Super Netball League All-Star team for her outstanding defensive displays.
That All-Star team also has Jamaican shooting superstar Jhaniele Fowler who has won her third-consecutive Suncorp Super Netball Player of the Year Award after an outstanding 2020 season.
Sunshine Sammy, as Sterling is affectionately called, backed up her breakout year in 2019 with another in 2020 and finished second in the league for the Nissan Net Points with 1,147.
She was won the Game Changer of the round award and was also Dual Club Champion, a title she shared with Maise Nankivell.
“A mean I'm grateful that my hard work is being recognised, [there is] more to come and definitely I'll be growing more into the sport,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Beside Sterling and Fowler of West Coast Fever, another Jamaican Romeldo Aiken of Queensland Firebird — one of the best attacking players in the world — has been creating waves Down Under.
“Well good talent lies in the heart of Jamaicans. Once you want it you have to go and get it,” Sterling said.
“I've worked extremely hard to achieve what I have in netball now and I've surrounded myself with great people including coaches who have influenced my career like Mrs Nattie [Oberon Pitterson], Maureen Hall and Jacinth Carey etcetera,” she added.
“It is a good feeling to be in the ranks of Nissan Net Points, Interceptions and Defensive Rebound. I must say that I am extremely grateful,” said Sterling on her numerous weekly awards.
There are at least seven Jamaicans currently plying their trade in Australia. Not couting Sterling, Fowler and Aiken, there are also Shimona Nelson, Jodi-Ann Ward (Collingwood Magpies), Latanya Wilson (Adelaide Thunderbird), and Kadie-Ann Dehaney (Melbourne Vixens).
Despite playing on opposite teams, Sterling said all the Jamaicans playing in Australia cling together as one family.
“We do communicate. We have our island girls group chat on WhatsApp where we talk to each other every day and we also have a Caribbean group with the other girls from the Caribbean that are playing in the league,” she pointed out.
“Sometimes we'll stay after a game and catch up. Sometimes we cook as well. But it is great to have a taste of Jamaica. There are seven of us here and we have a great relationship with each other. Friends away from the sport and friends during the sport,” said Sterling.
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