KELSEY Buxton has come so far from the small town of Inverloch, she is now playing in Melbourne for the Hawks Netball Club in the VNL (Victorian Netball League).

“As a kid I always wanted to play netball with my friends, but my family were swimmers, so most of my early years were involved in swimming and lifesaving,” Buxton said.

Buxton first started playing Saturday netball when she was 13 in the Leongatha Netball Association for Mt Eccles.

And as she moved from the juniors into the senior ranks at Inverloch Kongwak, she fell in love with the sport.

But she got to a stage where she needed to take that next step, so she tried out for Gippsland Storm Elite Development Netball Club, based in Pakenham.

Buxton was successful and made the transition into one of the Storm senior squads.

When Buxton was asked which of the coaches helped her along the way, Storm coach Jacqui Hanson was the first name that came to mind.

“Jacqui has definitely paid the biggest part in my development as an athlete,” Buxton said.

“My Game, my ability to read and dictate the play and even just the enjoyment of the game, has improved so much because of her.

“I owe a lot of my game to her.”

Buxton said playing at an elite level, especially while living in a regional area, teaches you to be committed and disciplined.

“With so many hours on the road, it can be quite tedious, but you need to get it done.

“You also need to make it worth your while, so it gives you that extra drive to get the most out of each training session you’ve driven so long to get to.”

She said the Gippsland Storm and the Hawks netball community have created a very family-orientated atmosphere, which obviously helps every member settle in nicely.

Gippsland Storm congratulated Buxton on her life’s achievements and netball achievements and wished her all the very best for the future.

“Kelsey seems to always push the boundaries, inner belief seems to drive her,” the Storm’s Mike Spain said.

The Storm has their annual tryouts on back-to-back Sundays on November 14 and 21 at the Officer Community Hub, 2 Parker Street, Officer.

Tryouts are for all age groups from 13 and under through to senior ranks.

Details and application forms are on the Storm’s Facebook page.

So, if you are a regional Gippsland netballer at any age and want to follow in Buxton’s footsteps, go along to Storm’s tryouts; it may be worth taking that next step.