Today (09/12/20), we celebrate the birthday of Nat Haythornthwaite as the Vitality Rose mid-courter turns 28!
Nat has enjoyed another prosperous year in netball which saw her excel in the red of the Vitality Roses and club New South Wales Swifts.
The Vitality Rose started the year strongly as she led out the England team as captain at the Vitality Netball Nations Cup (VNNC). It would be the first time the side had stepped onto court in the UK since the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup, in which Nat also starred.
Nat enjoyed a fine individual competition as the hosts won bronze ahead of South Africa. The bronze medal match also coincided with another landmark for the captain as she earned made her 50th senior international appearance.
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The 28-year-old earned those caps in just five years following her debut for the Vitality Roses against Trinidad and Tobago in 2015. She has won a host of medals in that time including the historic Commonwealth Games gold two years ago.
Following the close of the VNNC, her Head Coach Jess Thirlby told Sky Sports: “She’s approachable, positive and knows what it takes to win. I believe she has developed more of the grit, robustness and resilience needed to lead on some of the biggest stages and there is more depth to her leadership now.
“She represents the values and behaviours we care about most as a Roses team and leads by example out on court.”
At club level, Nat represents NSW Swifts in Australia. The former Wasps Netball player has enjoyed tremendous success since joining Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) in 2018, winning the Grand Final in 2019.
This year, Nat played 14 times for the Sydney outfit and provided mammoth 152 assists to the likes of Sam Wallace and Helen Housby. This helped the Swifts finished fourth in the ladder at the end of the regular season.
Nat continued to put up a string of stellar performances for club and country during her 27th year, and she will be looking to ensure that year number 28 will be no different.