Ian Botham, Jason Robinson and Rebecca Romero. Three star names that have excelled at not just one sport at an elite level, but have managed to show their class across two different versions.
However, England and Hertfordshire Mavericks’ shooter Ella Clark sets herself apart from the prestigious list above, the 24 year-old represents her country in two different sports, at the same time.
A recent addition into the Roses full-time training programme, Clark also lays claim to 25 Caps for British Basketball having been raised in a family who were more focused on ‘travelling’ than ‘footwork’.
Clark says: “Basketball runs in my family so I started that first, and my mum threw me into netball when I was 14.
“I did netball up until 2010 and then I went to college in America, which meant I couldn’t play because they don’t play netball there. I played basketball there for four years and I’ve been in Spain for the last two. I missed netball, so it’s great to be back.”
The inspiring attacker has recently penned a new deal and will be taking to the court in Italy as she combines her basketball journey with her netball career.
Ella believes she has the right support to continue excelling at both sports while in the Roses full-time programme, she added: “I have an agreement with Tracey where she lets me do one hour of Basketball here and then at the weekends I’ll do a couple of hours back home playing.
“Obviously the conditioning is all done here – technical-wise, I need to keep on top of that so I’ll do those technical sessions for around three hours a week.”
The athletes have now entered the second month of the training programme and Clark is already seeing the positives to being in camp.
She said: “I love it, it’s a real big pleasure to be involved in it – It’s a great environment to have all of the support staff around you and I love team sports, so to have a great group of girls around you is awesome, to have someone who shares the same experience as you.”
With the launch of UK Sport’s #DiscoverYour campaign earlier this week, Ella is certainly leading the way in showing that athletes can transcend sports and reach the pinnacle in more than one event.
Success is clearly something that the hard-working and ambitious Clark is used to and she is certain that balancing the sports will only make her stronger.
“I definitely enjoy doing both and they definitely complement each other, I always feel when I do anything netball-wise it definitely helps my basketball game.”