Former Australian Netball Diamonds goal-attack Natalie Medhurst has today announced her retirement from the sport, after a decorated 17-year career, which included winning gold for Australia at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and silver at the Dehli 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The 36-year-old earned 86 test caps for the Australian Diamonds during her career and will retire from the national domestic league after joining Collingwood last year as one of the nation’s all-time most capped players.
Medhurst is remaining in sport in the next step of her career as she joins Commonwealth Games Australia as the community engagement manager position, a role where Medhurst will assist in continuing to build a vibrant and engaging athlete alumni program, along with the delivery of community engagement and education activities and programs, such as the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship, Ron Clarke Griffith University Futures Scholarship and CGA’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Medhurst broke into the international netball scene in 2005, winning three world championships, making her Commonwealth Games debut at the Delhi Games where the Diamonds loss the gold medal match in heartbreaking fashion to New Zealand in double extra time, but Medhurst returned at the Glasgow 2014 Games to help Australia to the gold medal.
In January, Medhurst placed her netball career on hold as she prepared to become a mother for the first time. In July Medhurst and her partner welcomed a boy, Edison Butler.
Medhurst is celebrated as one of the world’s greatest goal-attacks of her time and leaves the game as an icon for Australian netball.
“I’d like to thank Collingwood for the last two years and allowing me to finish off my career, as well as every other club that I’ve played for, West Coast Fever, the Queensland Firebirds and the Adelaide Thunderbirds,” Medhurst said.
“I never dreamt that I would play netball at the elite level and I have achieved so much more than I ever thought I could be capable of.
“There was a glimmer of light to play this season and whilst I worked so hard to get myself fit and ready to take the court, it unfortunately did not come to fruition.
“The decision to retire is not one I take lightly but it’s certainly the right time. I have a beautiful family and I am in a very happy place. I know that I am leaving the sport having given it my absolute all throughout the years.
“Stepping away from netball is daunting but I am very excited to have this opportunity to continue to work within sport at the elite level with Commonwealth Games Australia, where I can play a role in making the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games a memorable one for all Australians.”
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Two-time Commonwealth Games medallist @natmedhurst has called time on her netball career today after a 17-year career, including representing the @aussiediamonds in 86 test caps and playing 235 games in the @supernetball national netball league most recently for @collingwoodsn. The @netballaust star made her international debut in 2005, and her Commonwealth Games debut at the 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐡𝐢 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟎 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 where she won a silver medal, before making her return at the 𝐆𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐠𝐨𝐰 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟒 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 to help the Diamonds go one better to win gold. Nat is staying involved with sport in the next step of her career joining @commgamesaus as our new 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐄𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐫, a role where Medhurst will assist in continuing to build a vibrant and engaging athlete alumni program, along with the delivery of community engagement and education activities and programs, such as the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship, Ron Clarke Griffith University Futures Scholarship and CGA’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Click the link in our bio to read more. See you Monday @natmedhurst 👋😀
Former Diamonds and Commonwealth Games teammate Madi Browne congratulated Medhurst on her years of service. Browne also called time on her domestic netball career last week and her international career in the months following the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“I feel privileged to have shared my career playing alongside Nat Medhurst. One of my fondest memories was our share in the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal match,” Browne said.
“The best thing about Nat is she strives for excellence and challenges you to push yourself. She has a genuine heart to make the people around her better at everything they do.
“It is sad we didn’t get to have one final hurrah together in the black and white, but I believe we will eventually have our hurrah in our next phase of life.
“She has always wanted to be a mother will do an incredible job of it. Nat has excelled on the netball court and I know she will excel in this next chapter of her life.”