As time went by Miranda sat, staring at the clock ticking away. As she sat she dreamt of being the most amazing netballer the world would ever know. Sometimes so amazing her mind allowed her to escape to another world, a world that she didn’t have to deal with bullies, a world that she could call her own but somehow it never allowed her to forget how she was almost completely different from everyone else. Miranda was born without an arm which meant she missed out on a lot of things in life. Miranda’s mum felt bad for Miranda so instead of watching her suffer she taught Miranda lots of important life lessons including how to catch, throw and even shoot with one hand. Slowly Miranda started seeing that having one arm wasn’t a disability it was more of a life experience that she would have to live with.

Suddenly she heard her door open as it opened her mum quickly ran inside. By the look on her mum’s bright red and puffed out looking face Miranda knew that her mum had some exhilarating news. “Guess what” her mum said enthusiastically. “What?” cried Miranda. “The local netball association is having free tryouts and I think you will be perfect at doing it” said her mum sympathetically. Deep inside Miranda knew that she would most likely not only let herself but her whole team down, it was useless trying. Her mum reminded her that no matter what she had to believe in herself and even if she looked completely different to everyone else.

Finally, the day that Miranda had been waiting for arrived, all the girls wanting to compete got into their age groups and started chatting away but of course Miranda had not a single soul to talk to. After what had felt like forever finally a young looking woman in a red tracksuit holding a microphone stepped out onto the wide stage. “Welcome ladies and gentleman to our 27th annual netball tryouts”. The young lady seemed to be talking for hours when finally five other people stepped out onto the stage. They slowly introduced themselves and chose an age group to work with. Miranda thought she was pretty lucky as she got Mandy who by far seemed to be the kindest coach. Mandy made all the girls get partners for every activity and of course all the girls had already chosen partners even before Miranda could make eye contact with any of them. So instead Miranda had to be partners with Mandy. First up was passing, each pair had to do chest pass, shoulder pass, rainbow pass and the bounce pass. Miranda really enjoyed passing, so all the positive thoughts lifted her spirits ready for the next shooting part of the tryouts. Since Miranda didn’t have two hands to shoot with she was forced to shoot with one hand. When Miranda stepped forward to shoot her first goal she could hear the snickering and laughter of the other girls as she missed every goal she attempted. It was as if her ears had blocked Miranda from hearing anything else other than her horrible teammates cackling away. Finally, it all became too much for Miranda she could feel the tears swelling up and her heart racing. She just wished her mum had never persuaded her to try out for the netball team in fact she felt like burying herself in a large hole and forgetting that netball ever existed. What was the point in believing that she would ever become a professional netballer anyway? Whose ever heard of a one armed netballer she thought negatively. After a day of misery it was finally time for announcing who would be team captain and most importantly the actual netball team. “And this year’s netball team captain is Skylar”. Oh great thought Miranda if I get into the team not only will I have to deal with netball but also Skylar Thomas the most perfect and popular netballer in the team. “Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for the official netball team for 2018” Mandy said cheerfully. Mandy had already mentioned seven other players before she came to the final spot. “And last but not least Miranda Appelby”. Miranda was so upset she felt like crying for the second time but then looked over to her mum who was overjoyed to hear that her daughter was in the netball team the opposite of her teammates faces of horror.

The season was nearly over. Mandy had trained the netball team hard, Miranda had trained herself too, although every game day Skylar put Miranda on the bench. Miranda rarely played a quarter of the game but she enjoyed watching her team win every week in fact Miranda’s team did so well they made it to the grand final.

All was going exceptionally until suddenly Skylar tripped over and sprained her ankle. Everyone gasped in horror as she cried in pain. “Miranda we need you to play in re-placement of Skylar” said Mandy as she quickly pinned the letters GS to her top. The game started again with only nine minutes on the clock scores were even. With one minutes to spare the ball was passed to the Center who then did a shoulder pass to Miranda who stood next to the ring positioned to shoot. Miranda bent her arm while her oily fingers grasped the ball. Everyone in the room silently watched as the ball pushed off her hand to the top of the ring. The ball went 360 degrees again and again until finally it fell in. The crowd cheered and roared as Miranda was lifted off the ground and into the air. Again her ears blocked out every noise except from the sound of happiness. Finally Miranda had found the respect she deserved and was not bullied from that day forward. She knew what purpose she had in her world and never let her disability stop her in any life challenges.

By Mia Spicer

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