Georgie Horjus shoots for the stars
While it may seem like Adelaide Thunderbirds rising star Georgie Horjus quickly burst on to the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) scene last year, it’s been a long road to get to this point.
Horjus started playing netball when she was five years old in her hometown Kangaroo Island.
She played in the Country Championships and travelled to Adelaide for U12, U15 and U17 State trainings.
In 2018 Horjus was offered a South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) scholarship and made the permanent move to Adelaide.
She attended Immanuel College from Year 11 where she remained until the completion of her schooling.
“When I moved to Adelaide, SASI is where I did all of my training,” the 19-year-old said.
“I would do weights every morning before school and then court sessions with Jenny Borlase after school.”
Jenny Borlase is the SASI Netball Head Coach and Horjus praises the training they have done together.
“Jenny has been amazing in helping me progress in my netball career.”
When Horjus moved to Adelaide she played for Contax in the Netball SA Premier League.
In 2020, the SASI athlete got her big break when she was named as a training partner for the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Not long after, Horjus was elevated to the extended squad of 12 and ended up playing most of the season for the Thunderbirds in the SSN.
After impressing in her first season, the Thunderbirds officially signed the SASI athlete in October 2020.
Horjus has thoroughly enjoyed her time as a Thunderbird so far.
“To play against the world’s best players who are a lot older and more experienced than me is really fun and challenging,” the Kangaroo Island native said.
“In the SSN every team is strong, there’s no week where it’s going to be an easy game.”
When asked what she loves about netball, Horjus said she loves that it is a team sport.
“I love how as a team you are all playing for each other.
“I used to play lots of other sports like tennis where you are by yourself, and it is a lot harder.
“In netball you make so many friends along the way who become life-long friends.”
Horjus has formed a close bond with Thunderbirds player and SASI graduate Maisie Nankivell and looks up to the older athlete.
“Maisie is so hard working and does all the one percenters.
“She is so fit and strong which is a goal of mine to become.”
When growing up, Horjus looked up to Australian Commonwealth Games gold medallist and SASI graduate Natalie Medhurst.
“Like me, Nat was a lot shorter than most other players and had to use her smarts to be successful.”
At 172cm, Horjus is one of the shortest players and shooters in the league.
“I think I am really lucky to have gotten the opportunity to play because most coaches would say that I am too short,” Horjus explained.
“I have had to use alternate tools to get to the SSN level such as my speed, shooting step backs and stepping to the side.”
Along with being signed by the Thunderbirds, Horjus was also named in the 2021 Australian U21’s squad.
“They are definitely my proudest achievements so far in my career.
“My next goal is to hopefully one day make the Australian Diamonds team.”
At 19 years of age with nearly two seasons of experience in Australia’s premier professional netball league, Horjus’ career will be one to watch in the years to come.