SANDHURST’S Bri Giddings has a netball record the envy of many.
The staunch and tenacious Dragons on-court leader will this Saturday notch her 200th game for the club she has called home since 2005.
Her stellar playing career has been highlighted by a remarkable run of grand final appearances – one for every season she has donned the successful maroon and blue.
It started with a whirlwind three A-grade premierships on the trot from 2005-07 and continued with six straight grand final appearances from 2012-17, with a few sprinkled in between.
Now playing in B-grade, Giddings is on track for a tilt at another grand final, with her Dragons’ team topping the ladder at this point with a 10-1-1 record, ahead of Eaglehawk (8-2) and Gisborne (8-3).
For someone so used to big-occasion games, Giddings is unsurprisingly calm leading into the milestone match against Kyneton.
“I’m just treating it as any normal game – I don’t want to make a fuss about it,” she said.
“It’s a huge milestone to achieve, but I’m feeling good about the game.”
Giddings, who has missed a few seasons along the way to give birth to her children Ethan, now 11, Macey, 10, and Charlie, 7, viewed the mix of grand finals as bizarre but ultra-satisfying.
She considered herself lucky to be part of such a successful era at Sandhurst.
“I have been around here for 13 years now – you have great support and you have such a great bunch of girls,” she said.
“That’s what makes the club so successful, having such a great bunch of people, from the coaches down to the players.
“It’s why people stay there so long; it’s just such a great place to be around.”
The Dragons have three-time premiership coach Jannaya Webb to thank for luring Giddings to the QEO.
The pair was team-mates at Newbridge following Giddings arrival in Bendigo, with Webb coercing the skilful midcourter/defender across in time for the first of a hat-trick of flags.
It’s decision neither, or the club, has regretted, with premiership success quickly following.
Aside from numerous club awards, Giddings won league best and fairests in 2013 (B-grade) and 2009 (A-reserve).
Giddings hoped to continuing playing for as long as her health allowed, but said her future would be determined more by her children’s sporting commitments than her own ambitions.
That’s what makes (Sandhurst) so successful, having such a great bunch of people, from the coaches down to the players.
With such a large and talented crop of youngsters making their way into the Dragons’ A-reserve team she has been a mainstay of since 2014, Giddings is content to pursue her love of netball in a strong B-grade team.
“There are some really young girls and they are doing amazing, really stepping up,” she said.
“A-grade is sitting on top, A-reserve is second, all the way down to B-reserve and our under-17 girls, so the whole club is going well.”