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May 12, 2015 by Surrey Storm

Ainsworth on Championship Season

Katt Ainsworth enjoyed a very successful season and was a member of the team that finally saw Storm lift the Superleague trophy in April. She recently spoke to sponsor Andy Lamb about the championship winning season and what the team’s first silverware means to her.

Listen to Andy’s interview with Katt below or read the full transcript.



AL: The final was just over 2 weeks ago – has it finally sunk in yet?
KA: Yes and no, I think there are still times where people congratulate me or I have a flashback to the pictures and I realise we have finally achieved winning the super league.

There are still moments where I catch myself smiling and thinking what it was to win so yes and no.

AL: You've been with Storm for a couple of seasons- why do you think 2015 was finally THE year?
KA: We've come so far and we have just been building and building. This year took a step back and really focused on what we need to do as a team, tweak the little things and not worry about what the other teams are doing.

I think having the taste of last year’s grand final and knowing that we just needed to put in a good 60 mins, be consistent and push on. Throughout the season we have been building on that. I think it’s just been how we have felt more confident and how we finished as to why 2015 was our year.

AL: Was it the team’s mentality?
KA: We were undefeated all last year and too loose by 1 in the last few seconds really put things into perspective. You can go through the whole season undefeated but it’s still that one game that counts.
This year we focused on getting though the season and getting into the top four, we weren’t necessarily concentrating on winning every single game. It was more about let’s get to the end goal but build on it and look at what we're doing well to win the game.

AL: What’s it like to play at the Copper Box Arena – did you feel the tension in the crowd?
KA: The Copper Box Arena is an amazing venue whether it’s London Live or even the final. You try and cut the crowd out because you want to focus on the game but you just need to embrace it. I think a few times there were a few calls that went a certain way and there were a few Boo's from the crowd but it’s such a great experience playing in front of a crowd like that.

AL: At least you can’t hear the bench as well!
KA: Yeah (laughs) that is true although Tamsin is on court!

AL: I’ve got admit I can only remember the last 60 seconds- do you remember anything more about than that about the game itself?
KA: I can remember most of it really. Mavericks were a team not to be underestimated. We battled it out till half time and then 3/4 time they came back at us and then we stepped away again. 

Everyone keeps asking me when did you realise you'd won the game and I don’t think it was until the last 5 minutes really of the last quarter we said we've actually won this. You can never say die until the end really.
AL: Everyone associated with the team will have their own personal memories of the day won’t they?
KA: They definitely will. It all means different things to different people. For myself I look back and think all those years I've played netball all I ever wanted was one title and poor Hannah (Reid) has been in a few finals. For each and every one of us it was such a special feeling and for Storm as a franchise to finally get a Superleague title under our belts and to be on top, not for lack of trying but finally to go our way it’s such a great boost.

AL: Have you watched the final as a team and enjoyed it without Tamsin analysing EVERY move?
KA: Not as a team but I've manage to watch it quite a few times and it’s hard not to even without Tamsin being there. We are so used to looking back at things and focusing on what we have done and what we can do better I think it's just embedded in us now.  It's really watching it back thinking "I should've done that" or "wonder if I should’ve done this" it's very strange.

AL: Storm is very much a “team effort” but how much of a difference has Pamela Cookey made this season?
KA: Pam is such an asset and I had the luxury to play with her last time she was at Storm. To have her back and to have her back with what she has done from injury through to winning Superleague.
The attack end of Rach, Tamsin, Pam and even Bongi when she played – all international players – it was such a delight to play with them.

AL: I guess it makes your game stronger as well?
KA: It does make my game stronger, as a team we all stepped up. When things didn’t go right we knew that somebody would be there to back you up. At times this season we were on court thinking "I don't think we are going to lose this" and certain games we couldn’t, we came together and while it’s always been a thing with us by having an experience team on court knowing that no matter what happened you would always have someone there to back you up.

AL: You've got a bit of break then joining Storm girls at La Manga – looking forward to it?
KA: I have got a bit of a break and I am joining the storm girls at La Manga Netball Sevens – a bit of sunshine to celebrate our win doesn’t go astray!

AL: How important is getting young girls involved in the sport though the Junior Roadshows?
KA: It’s very important as they are what the game will be in a few years’ time, they are the girls up and coming and also just to give back to them as they're our supporters. We've always got the young girls on the side lines after the game dragging their fathers, mothers or whatever family member they can to our games. Just to be able to give them an insight of what we do, how we train and give them encouragement and tweak a few things to keep an interest in the game to keep the hunger alive and be the next Storm girls coming through.

AL: Have the live games on tele made a difference this season?
KA: Yes, I have had different people come up to me and especially at my work who I don’t think realised how committed we are, how fast the sport is and how athletic we are. Even if people have been flicking through the channels and watched for a few minutes the reaction has been amazing. 100% made a difference.

AL: Are people recognising you while you’re shopping?
KA: I haven’t had that yet no, my profiles not that big!

AL: Do you think the Superleague is getting closer to ANZ standards?
KA: Coming from Australia and having played at the higher level for a few years I don’t see why not. It’s a testament to the girls who are out in ANZ at the moment we have a number of England players that are out there joining that competition and raising the profile of English Netball. What we are and what we have over here.As for the profile I think it will take a bit of time but I believe it’s definitely stepped up its game.

AL: In August the Netball World Cup takes place in Sydney how do you think we'll do?
KA: Off the Back of the Commonwealth Games they were unlucky. They really threw it to Australia and New Zealand. I was in the crowd for England v Australia going "Who am I going to go for" I know these girls, I play against these girls but the Aussie in me was like "I can't turn against Australia".
I think if they get all their stuff together there’s no reason why they can’t give it a good challenge against those top teams.

AL: Have you got the Superleague Championship medal locked up safe or is it on display on the TV?
KA: It’s still with my Storm stuff and my other 2 silver medals. It's taking pride of place now as its Gold and the other 2 are silver! I need to sort out what I’m going to do with it I don’t know where I'm going to put it. Ill definitely find a safe place for it.

AL: Katt, have a well-deserved break and fingers crossed for same again next season.  

Andy also spoke to Tamsin Greenway after the Grand Final, which you can listen to here.

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