Sport Focus Q&A - Jo Pettitt, Netball

March 18, 2018

At just 19, Jo Pettitt was one of the youngest members of the Netball team that took 9th place for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. Since then the Scottish Thistles have recorded an impressive string of results, taking them to ninth in the most recent World rankings. As part of our Sport Focus series, we caught up with Jo as she prepares to head to Gold Coast for her second Commonwealth Games:

How did you first get into Netball?

I first started playing at primary school, at West Linton Primary, and then went on to high school and played for Peebles High School and joined Peebles Netball Club. From there I progressed on to districts, playing for Borders District and then joined the Scotland South pathway system and progressed through all the age groups at nationals.

Do you remember the first time you played? Were you a natural from the first time you picked up a ball?

Probably not, I was really uncoordinated. I was tall, limbs a bit everywhere, so it took a lot of hard work to get that coordination when I was little.

What is it you love about Netball?

I love being in a team sport, I used to do quite a lot of swimming and I particularly enjoyed the relays and it occurred to me one day that, actually, that was because I was being part of a team. So that’s when I focused on Netball and realised that I love team sport and being part of a bigger group all trying to do one thing. It’s more social I think, as a team.

You’ve come all the way through to the national side and are going to your second Commonwealth Games, what does it mean to be part of Team Scotland?

I think it’s just amazing being part of something even bigger. There’s so many sports but we are all one team, trying to achieve the same thing. I think that makes it even more inspiring for us and for other people in Scotland.

What’s the highlight of your career so far?

Definitely the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I was lucky enough to compete at the last Games, so I’m going into it a bit more experienced this time. Last time was just a total whirlwind because I was quite new in to the team, so I’m hoping to absorb it all a little bit more this time.

The Thistles have had some fantastic results over the past few years, what’s made the difference in that success?

I think our intensity at training has just lifted and we’ve got higher standards for ourselves, so we don’t accept what we would have accepted maybe five or six years ago in the national team. Our coaches have been really great in helping us achieve what we want to achieve and everyone has got the same drive in the team.

What are your hopes for Gold Coast 2018?

We’ve got a tough draw so we’re going to do our best and hopefully get a top eight finish.

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