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Bridgetown netballer Rachel Kilchenmann earns bronze medal in “exciting” return to national competition

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Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Bridgetown's Rachel Kilchenmann, back row fifth from left, recently achieved a bronze medal after representing WA 17/U in the National Netball Championships.
Camera IconBridgetown's Rachel Kilchenmann, back row fifth from left, recently achieved a bronze medal after representing WA 17/U in the National Netball Championships. Credit: Supplied

While the 2023 WA Netball League season was on a brief break, one Souwest Jets sharp-shooter jumped at the opportunity to represent her state at a national level.

Bridgetown local Rachel Kilchenmann recently represented Western Australia in the state’s 17 & under squad at the National Netball Championships, which took place in Darwin from April 11-16.

The young gun was the sole South West representative, joining many of her peers from Perth-based WANL teams during the tournament.

Speaking to the South Western Times, Kilchenmann said she was excited to be in the state program with a new coach in Guy Keane and playing alongside the best in the state.

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“It was unbelievable,” she said.

“All the hard months driving to Perth for training was actually going to be put into practice and the connections we made with everyone in our team was pretty amazing.

“I have been to Darwin before for nationals in the U12 state team so I sort of knew what to expect but this time I’m older and the competition is harder, along with thinking about Australian selection too.”

Rachel Kilchenmann in action for WA 17/U.
Camera IconRachel Kilchenmann in action for WA 17/U. Credit: Supplied

While the squad was off to a shaky start losing to Victoria in the first round, WA managed to improve as the tournament progressed, making it through to the semi-finals against Queensland.

“Our first three quarters weren’t the best and we were down by six,” Kilchenmann said.

“Then in the fourth quarter we knew something had to change if we want to be in the gold medal match.

“I came on and a few players changed and we ended up drawing at the end of the game, which meant we had to go into overtime.

“We unfortunately lost in the end but it was the best netball I had played.”

The WA squad went on to go up against Victoria for the bronze medal, where WA pulled through to come away with the win 33-25, with Kilchenmann shooting at 90 per cent throughout the tournament.

Following the tournament and achieving a bronze medal, Kilchenmann said she wishes to continue focusing on WANL and helping develop the Souwest Jets.

“I want to help them develop skills about the game that I have learned at nationals and see if we can incorporate them into our game,” she said.

Kilchenmann was not the only Souwest Jet to experience representing Western Australia at state level, with a number of Open Jets players competing in the Australian Men’s & Mixed Netball Association Championships in Perth.

Marene Peyper, Amy Donaldson and Laura Jenour all competed and took on leadership roles within their respective squads as part of the West Coast Thunder.

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