Today (27/01/21), we celebrate the birthday of Halimat Adio as the promising Vitality Rose defender turns 23!
Halimat has developed impressively at three different Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) franchises over the past few years.
Beginning at Wasps Netball, she then represented Severn Stars and looked set for possibly her best-ever season as part of a London Pulse outfit that won their opening three matches before the pandemic frustratingly curtailed the 2020 VNSL season.
Her first senior international cap came at Netball Europe Open in Northern Ireland in 2019 and she is an established member of the England Futures Programme.
The programme allows young talents to learn from senior players in the Vitality Roses setup and speaking in 2019, Halimat praised the impact it’s had on her development: “I’ve been in England Futures for two years and I think that’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because I’ve just progressed as an athlete and become a stronger and better athlete. I’m quite proud of myself for that.”
As well as improving her skills alongside her international colleagues, the London-born goal keeper has benefitted from growing up in an era where the sport has never been more accessible globally and she has identified some great role models.
“Once I started to progress in netball, I started to look at other defenders. I think that Laura Geitz and Sharni Layton were the big ones for me. As a young girl, I would see them play and I would hear so much about them from my coaches.
“They would be the ones who our coaches would encourage us to study. They would say ‘You need to look at these defenders and you need to try and be like them’. They influenced me a lot because of that.”
One of the hottest prospects in English netball, Halimat wasn’t always the dominant defender she is now: “When I first started, I was actually a goal shooter,” she explained.
“I trialled for county two times as a goal shooter and both times I didn’t get in. I was a shooter for many years so I thought that I would try as a goal keeper and a defender to see what would happen.
“I got into county as a defender and into regionals. Since then, I’ve only ever been a defender.”