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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Monday, 17 December 2007

Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary

Sonia Mkoloma (Litmus Images)
By Sonia Mkoloma
England international defender and Brunel Hurricanes captain

Let me start by telling you all that New Zealand were the ultimate World Championship hosts from the candle-lighting ceremony until the closing ceremony.

The atmosphere was consistently magnificent and the courtside entertainment had me singing along!

Where do I start from an England point of view? I guess the semi-final against Australia is a good place.

I don't really have much to say regarding that one, except it just wasn't our day and that the whistle was not on England's side.

Then the bronze medal play-off against Jamaica. We were about 10 down at half-time and lost the match by one goal.

I know, only one goal. So close that if there was five extra seconds we could have drawn the game.

Did we play to our best you ask? Yes we did. Did we fight? Not hard enough. Did Jamaica deserve to win? Yes they did.

It was the most intense game ever and England pulled off a gutsy comeback. We did all agree that it wasn't enough.

Sonia Mkoloma
Sonia in action during the World Championships in New Zealand

We shed our tears, which helped us to wash away our disappointment. It concluded the end of four years of hard training and a successful past 12 months of netball.

Let me be the first to say that the end result didn't bring doom and gloom to the England camp, and we shared endless funny moments together as a squad.

One day my roommate Geva and I got to the lift two minutes before we are due to depart for training.

The lift takes one minute to appear and we were on the 11th floor so we were sweating with fear.

When it came we dashed in and I pressed G. The lift descends and stops at 10. We go on and stop at 8...7...4...3...2...1 and then finally Ground.

When we got out there was nobody to be seen - the team had forgotten about us!

When we ran outside, Geva even banged on the van door as it drove away but they didn't hear it (apparently).

Since the World Championships I have been just chilling and enjoying being lazy and as Christmas is coming, it is a great excuse to party a little!

I'm just waiting for Santa to bring me a car for Christmas... a convertible would be nice!

But for all of those who need to keep up training, just try and go for at least two 20 minute runs a week, to keep your body active and burn some of the dinner off.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Sonia x

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Where were you born in England? I was born there but I go to school in Jamaica. I watch how you play and you are brilliant.
Chinnell Broomfield, Jamaica

Hi girl, I'm glad you like my playing style, That's really cool. I'm from London (a city girl) born and raised.

How much does the international team miss Olivia Murphy?
Catherine, England

Olivia was a very influential player on the team, but everybody has their time to shine and I would say that it's Jade Clarke's time now. Watch out for her in the Loughborough Lightning squad in Co-operative Superleague games.

I was just wondering how you get to play for a professional team like you do because I love playing netball at school and I just wanted to know how to get more involved?
Lucy Snape, Lanacashire

Lucy, keep up school netball but also try and get into a local club which is quite high up in their league. This will give you tough games and improve your game.

If you struggle with this, then check out the England website (www.englandnetball.co.uk) for lists of clubs in your area.

You could also come along to Brunel Hurricanes summer camps next year where you learn new skills from coaches and some top class players and you could also get some advice.

Keep checking www.brunelhurricanes.co.uk for more information.

How many years have you been playing netball?
Issy Mc, England

Thanks Issy, I have been playing since I was 13. I got into the England team in 1999, against South Africa.

What advice would you give to a 14-year-old Goal Keeper to up her game? Are there any skills or techniques you would recomend in practice or anything else you can think of?
Ashleigh Brain, England

I would advise all Goal Keepers to try and stay in front of their Goal Shooters, keep your feet moving so you can go get interceptions outside of the circle.

Keep on repositioning ball side (the side of the court on which the ball is travelling down) around the shooter and keep your head up so you can see the ball and players around you whilst also keeping an eye on your shooter. If you see an interception just go for it!

As I said before, come along to a Brunel Hurricanes summer camp next year and you can learn some invaluable skills.

Sonia x

Send Sonia your questions using this form and read her answers to a selection of recent questions at the bottom of the page
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see also
England finish top as Wales fall
13 Nov 07 |  Netball
England ease into quarter-finals
12 Nov 07 |  Netball
Wins for England and Wales in NZ
11 Nov 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary
07 Nov 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary
06 Jun 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's diary
26 Apr 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's diary
14 Mar 07 |  Netball
Netball results
24 May 06 |  Netball


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