If you play netball, chances are you know Maxine Hellmann. The Tarneit resident was last week honoured with life membership at Hoppers Crossing Netball Club, after years of playing, sitting on the committee and coaching. She tells Charlene Macaulay about how netball has been a big influence in her whole family.

 

Where did you grow up?

New Zealand, in Christchurch. My mum’s still there. I came [to Australia] in 1986, just really was looking for greater opportunities than New Zealand was able to offer.

My intention was just to stay here for a short time … and then go to Europe and then eventually move back to New Zealand and marry and all those things.

I met Darren when I’d been here a week, and we started dating the next week and we’ve been together ever since. We’ve been married 27 years.

 

How did you get involved with Hoppers Crossing Netball Club?

I used to play it myself in my younger days, and when my girls all wanted to start playing sport, I asked my eldest what she wanted to do, and she said ‘I’d like to wear a skirt, so it’ll have to be netball’. So she started playing, and all the girls joined our club.

I’ve been president of the club and on the committee, but I’ve coached for probably the last 12 years – usually teams with my daughters in them. We all played a grand final together …at the Rec Centre, as it was back then, and we won, so that was fabulous, and I retired from playing then.

 

What was it like to receive life membership?

It was a bit of a shock, because I don’t see that I do anything different, or special, to what lots of other people do.

You don’t do things for awards like that; you do them because it’s right for you, and right for the families. It was really a surprise to get that, but also a big honour.

 

What’s your favourite place for a meal?

We like Fresh Chilli, we like to go there for dinner. We also spend a lot of time at the Hoppers Crossing Sports Club.

 

If there’s one thing you could change about Wyndham, what would it be?

The thing that frustrates me is the traffic and the lights. We’re actually going to sell and move from here to Werribee, because for me to get to the freeway from here, I go through 13 sets of lights.