It’s bigger than netball.

It always has been.

I was born in England but when I was young, my family and I moved to Jersey; the largest of the Channel Islands between England and France.

That’s where netball all started for me. Jersey is a great place.

It’s pretty much like Australia but a whole lot smaller. There’s loads of sport. The islands were a good place to grow up.

When netball began to play a key role in my life, I moved over to Bath, Somerset – where I spent nine years learning my trade and how to play the game at a more elite level in a high performance environment.

I’m always reppin’ my home. One of the best things about being at the Giants, is when we run out onto the court, the game day TV hosts introduce me as “Number 3 from Jersey, England”. I get chills everytime they say it.

Serena Guthrie exclusive insight 2

I’m an English Rose every time I step out onto the court and winning gold at the Commonwealth Games…well, there isn’t a price tag in the world that could value what that medal is going to do for the sport of netball back home.

I’m unsure of the exact statistics, but the take-up in girls netball at grassroots level was unprecedented, according to English Netball’s governing body.

It really sparked an interest in the game because of the success that we had and people were for the first time, wanted to share in that success and to get involved in the game, which is huge for us.

Especially in England when there’s so much competition; we’ve already got soccer, which pretty much pays for itself now and it’s kind of ingrained within the English culture, as is cricket and rugby.

So the impact that gold medal had for female sport in England was phenomenal.

As a team, we’d always been considered a genuine contender, but we needed that big scalp to stamp our mark on the world stage.

The fact that we got that is really special.

It’s something that’s obviously never happened before, I was almost a bit upset to be over here in a way because the girls had such an incredible reception when they went back home, which I of course missed out on.

They had media and people coming to celebrate their arrival. Such congratulations are usually reserved for post-Olympic games athletes or for soccer players following a World Cup victory.

We don’t get that kind of attention, so the fact that it happened…well again, words can’t describe that.

It’s a bit of a relief in a way I guess. As a player, just to know that people have recognised you and you’ve done something positive for the sport as well.

I think the challenge we set for ourselves now, is for our success to be sustainable.

Serena Guthrie exclusive insight 2

Its great to win the Commonwealth medal but we are obviously pushing to try and be genuine contenders for more than just one cycle.

I think we are all very proud of ourselves and what we did because it was bloody hard and it wasn’t all perfect. But to be able to go out on the day, or over those two days, the semi-final and pull back a nine goal deficit to Jamaica…it all seemed like a pretty impossible task at the time. I still don’t quite know how we managed to do that actually!

Then to come out against the Aussies and with no fear really. It’s interesting, when you’ve never been in a position before because you don’t know how you should feel and you don’t really understand the expectations either.

You know obviously you have expectations on yourself and you know you can win if you put out a good quality game of netball.

But at that level, I think in sport, you never really quite know if you’ve got two teams that are going to perform well and look those two forces pushing against each other.

That’s where the excitement comes, I think, in the game and the fact that we started so well against the Aussies and just kind of didn’t allow them to settle, gave us that opportunity to win the game and we ended up out on top at the end.

So yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Just to even think about it now it’s something that doesn’t really seem quite real, you know?

It is awesome what happened and essentially I think personally that we did one of the hardest things to do in team sports.

You look at the hockey, you look at the rugby. But for our netball team to actually come to Australia and win on foreign soil, is something else.

Serena Guthrie exclusive insight 2

It’s a very, very difficult thing to do because they’re just so, so strong and prominent and they should be because of the success that Australia has had in team sports in recent years. It makes it all the more special.

Hopefully that will keep the hunger in the girls wanting to come out here and try and have a crack. And to try and keep that steady flow of English imports in the Super Netball competition because I think it’s a really healthy thing to have.

We do add something slightly different. It’s been really nice to see the Aussies embrace us.