Kate Shimmin of the Vitality Roses and Sunshine Coast Lightning.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Kate Shimmin of England in action during the Vitality Netball Nations Cup 2020 match between Vitality Roses and South Africa SPAR Proteas at Copper Box Arena on January 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images for England Netball)

Vitality Roses defender Kate Shimmin last week announced that she would be joining Super Netball side Sunshine Coast Lightning for the 2021 season.

Shimmin joins the Queensland outfit from hometown club Adelaide Thunderbirds, having previously spent a year with Queensland Firebirds in 2017.

The 28-year-old won Thunderbirds’ Player of the Season award in 2018 and she will bolster Lightning’s defensive stocks and provide increased positional versatility to the line-up.

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Shimmin made her debut for the Vitality Roses during the South Africa Series in 2020 before making four more appearances at the Vitality Netball Nations Cup in 2020.

She looked forward to relocating to the Sunshine Coast and joining the Lightning team ahead of the 2021 pre-season.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity from Kylee [Byrne] to join Lightning and for the new challenges that it presents,” Shimmin said.

“Lightning are a club who have been so successful in the Super Netball league and I’m excited to be playing and training alongside an elite group of athletes who I’ve always had so much respect for.

“Having spent six weeks based up in Queensland and the Sunshine Coast this year and also living in Queensland in 2017, I know it’s a beautiful part of the country and I can’t wait to make the move north in the coming months.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning Head Coach Kylee Byrne said she was excited to see what Shimmin could contribute to the team in 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kate to the Lightning family and I have absolute confidence that she will bring something special to the club both in her style of play and competitiveness, but also off court,” Byrne said.

“I have had the pleasure of coaching Kate at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) previously and then as an opposition defender I have witnessed Kate’s presence and her ability to change a game.

“Kate will work with our defensive end superbly and push them to be even better which is what I am most excited by.”

Shimmin is the latest Vitality Rose to commit to a Super Netball side for the upcoming 2021 campaign. Natalie Haythornthwaite had previously signed on for another season at NSW Swifts and Grand Finalist Stacey Francis has extended her stay at West Coast Fever.

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