Shonica Wharton is making her name known in domestic, regional and international netball. And fans of the sport are taking note.
The younger of her mother’s two daughters, 21-year-old Wharton has no fears whatsoever approaching the netball rings. Indeed, while some might be daunted by the stress of sporting activity, Wharton approaches the game as the hobby she loves most.
Wharton started playing netball from the tender age of eight when she saw her older sister Shanice Wharton playing the sport.
The former Graydon Sealy student started playing netball for Barbados at the age of fifteen when she made her first tour to the Regional U-16 Jean Pierre Tournament in 2011. Since then the tall, energetic shooter has been unstoppable.
Since her first tour to the Jean Pierre Tournament, she has been selected for several other netball tournaments including Commonwealth Games in 2014, Netball World Cup which was held at the time in Sydney, Australia in 2015 and the recently held U-21 World Youth Netball Championships in Gaborone, Botswana 2017.
“It’s always a great feeling to be wearing your national colours and representing your country at whatever sport you might be playing,” she told Barbados TODAY.
The accurate shooter who was once a defender when she started playing, is ranked as Barbados’s number one goal shooter. She described that accomplishment as a great feeling but added that sometimes all the pressure was on the person seen as the top shooter.
Her goal when she goes into every game is to always finish with no lower than a ninety-percent accuracy.
Her foundation was paved when she started playing with her aunt Monnette Wharton in Church Village before she moved on to the UWI Blackbirds Division 1 Club.
Asked how the sport impacted her life, the University of the West Indies student said playing the sport helped her make a lot of friends.
“I think I inspire a few little ones. It taught me that teamwork is very important and it’s not all about you. It made me the person I am today, I’ve fallen in love with the sport.”
Wharton, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism Management, said her future plan for netball was to become a professional netballer and help give back to the sport she loves.