Meet: Shimona, a driven female athlete perusing her education!

“Work hard, stay humble!” Shimona Nelson, Sports Management student and Professional Netballer.

Netball SA is one of Torrens Sports Industry Partnerships in Adelaide. We spoke with one of their superstar athletes – Shimona Nelson, born in Jamaica and Professional Netballer for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, about what it takes to succeed in the sports industry, and how to create a good work-life balance between training and studying.

What are your Top 3 tips for students:
1. WORK HARD! Put in the extra hours needed to complete your work, it will pay off in the end.
2. Remain humble, and have a good work ethic. You don’t have to be positive every day, but you should always give your task at hand 100% of your effort.
3. Always be patient and trust the process. It’s hard when you can’t see the direct results of your efforts, which will often challenge you at times, but just keep trusting the process – nothing good ever came easy! 

Suncorp Super Netball – Game 1 West Coast Fever v Adelaide Thunderbirds at Priceline Stadium on APRIL 29, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Richard Keane / Sports in Focus)


Tell us what life as a Professional Netballer is like!
I am constantly learning. I love that my career is constantly encouraging and challenging my teammates, and I, to learn and evolve. It doesn’t matter how experienced (or unexperienced) a player is at Netball, we’re playing at an elite level so there’s always lots to learn.

A typical day for me is spent between training at the gym, or on the Netball courts with my team and coach, and making time for study. Our team has excellent communication, which makes each day, and training session really impactful. We discuss how to transform the game, and make the team better.

I was really fortunate to get this position as Professional Netballer, as I was talent-scouted by Dan Ryan, Head Coach of the Adelaide Thunderbirds, who saw me playing in a series for the Jamaican Sunshine Girls. I’ve constantly worked hard to achieve my results, to get me where I am today – patience, encouragement and teamwork go a long way!

What achievements are you most proud of, on and off the court?
I have so many achievements I am really proud of, from:
1. Gaining a scholarship to go to year 12 in High School
2. Gaining another scholarship to attend the University of West Indies
3. Awarded the Sports Women of the Year for U.W.I (and all the campuses in the Caribbean!)
4. Being selected on the Senior Jamaica Netball Team, which inevitably lead me to the Adelaide Thunderbirds Netball Team

What do you do outside of work?
When I’m not training or playing professional Netball, I’m attending classes at Torrens University, where I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Business specialising in Sports Management. I’m really enjoying the course, it keeps my mind busy and focused on my long term career goals, and also gives me some time to rest my muscles (*laughs*).

What’s been the best advice you’ve received?
“Nothing good comes to you in life if you don’t work hard for it”. I believe this includes putting in the time, effort and all your energies in to your career/personal goals, in order to be successful. I truly live by this, always asking myself if the task is aligned with my motives: hard work + determination = success!

Are you an athlete, or interested in gaining exposure and experience into the business management side of international sports? Find out what competitive edge our sports degrees will give you, in the Australian and International market.

Find a career in

Sport Management

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