Claudia was drawn to St Hilda’s College as the community values are closely aligned with those of her home town in Sea Lake, rural Victoria. Having a close friendship with two current students a year ahead of her, Claudia’s decision to join the St Hilda’s community, without an onsite visit or tour on Open Day, posed no issues. Now in her second year studying a Bachelor of Design, with the aim to major in Landscape Architecture, Claudia seeks to replicate a slice of home through the St Hilda’s sports program. 

Having played netball since year 4, and progressing to the Seniors competition by the age of 16, it is no surprise that the fine sporting reputation at St Hilda’s enticed Claudia. As she described, her home town places great emphasis on community sport as it binds everyone together, and allows the families from neighbouring areas to meet regularly. From an early age, Claudia has participated in annual tournaments, travelling from town to town to compete, building lifelong friendships with team mates and competitors. As a first year St Hilda’s student settling into Melbourne and college life, Claudia maintained her hometown commitment and travelled the four-hour trip back to play in the Sea Lake Netball Competition. That’s serious dedication and enthusiasm. It was the team connections and sheer enjoyment that Claudia found within her sporting community that kept bringing her back week after week during the netball season.

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Claudia was equally committed to St Hilda’s and played in the 2nds team as part of the intercollegiate sports program, providing her with another avenue to form close bonds with students from other year levels. She values the highly competitive nature of the intercollegiate competition, and the chance to represent her beloved college community and learn from inspiring student coaches. The 2019 season concluded with the team as runners up as a result of a three-point loss in the Grand Final. Although disappointed, Claudia felt that the strong team spirit and immense support from the College community minimised the impact.

After planning to lead the 2nds team as co-captain this year, Claudia was disappointed to hear that there would be ‘no court time’ in 2020 as intercollegiate sport would be cancelled due to the pandemic. Looking forward, she hopes to eventually join a local Melbourne club and continue to flourish as an athlete, and meet many new likeminded team mates.

Claudia’s skillset extends beyond her athletic ability and commitment to community sport. This year she was awarded an internship as the St Hilda’s student photographer; a paid work placement for current College students studying at the University of Melbourne.  Having completed the VCE subject Studio Arts, Claudia was a prime candidate amidst a strong application pool.

The St Hilda’s community looks forward to the recommencement of intercollegiate sports, with Claudia and our other netball superstars keen to bring home the silverware in 2021!