THE PATH to the professional game is becoming clearer for Demi Ponticelli after being called up to a national netball squad for the forthcoming year.
The 18-year-old Coventry College student, the sister of Sky Blues forward Jordan Ponticelli, fended off more than 50 other trialists to earn herself selection to the Association of Colleges National Netball team for the 2020/21 season.
In making the 21-strong squad, the Bedworth native will call some of the most promising talents in netball her team-mates and go up against other UK-based sides.
Ponticelli admits she cannot wait to further her career and paid tribute to the efforts of her college in supporting her future dreams.
“I’ve joined up with the national team on a few occasions and played as a centre and the standard is unbelievable, so spending time with them later this year will only help to improve my own game,” she said.
“I knew I always wanted a career in the field of sport. My ultimate dream is to follow in my brother’s footsteps and become a professional sportsperson.
“That’s one of the key reasons I am studying a sports and coaching course at Coventry College, as it allows me to combine my ambitions of becoming a full-time netballer whilst studying towards a qualification that will stand me in good stead for an alternative career.
“The support I have had from the college has been great both financially and academically, so I’m excited about what the future holds.”
At present aside from her studies, Ponticelli has gained invaluable minutes on the court for Wasps Netball’s under 19s and Henley Netball Club in her favoured wing-defence position, having caught the eye representing Warwickshire at county level.
Coventry College academy manager Peter Glackin lauded the rising star and labelled Ponticelli as another example of the progress being made to bring through the next generation of athletes in the area.
He added: “Demi is the latest in a long line of talented student athletes at Coventry College showing signs of reaching their full potential.
“We are working with Demi to ensure she strikes the right balance between developing her game on and off the court and is a great role model for other young athletes who want to pursue a career as an elite athlete.
“It’s been a fantastic year for the Coventry College Academy of Sport. Alongside Demi, we have had students in rugby union and American football picked to represent their country in their respective sports. We have a strong track record of helping students pursue their sporting dreams.”