By ROGER DESAILLY
GROWING up in Allora on the Darling Downs, Laura Geitz certainly had the Midas touch when it came to winning gold medals in the sport of netball.
However, it is the simple framed certificate confirming her induction into the Queensland Sports Hall of Fame, presented to her at the Queensland Sports Federation 2022 Awards, that will take pride of place in the family trophy room.
Geitz was first selected to play for Australia in 2008. She won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, a gold medal at the 2011 World Netball Championships and a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games as captain.
The small country town where Geitz played her junior netball has a history of producing sporting greats – Allora can also claim rights to a plethora of other sporting stars at state and national level across rugby league and union, boxing, vigoro and equestrian.
She rose through the representative netball ranks to play for the AIS Canberra Darters and Queensland Firebirds and was capped 71 times for her country.
By the time she retired from the game in 2018 she’d amassed 169 domestic league caps and two Player of the Year awards.
In May 2017 a bronze statue depicting Geitz was unveiled by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre at Boondal.
In 2020 a 4-foot tall replica of the full sized bronze statue was unveiled in her hometown of Allora – another proud milestone for a county girl who dreamed big and worked long and hard to chase that dream.
Having traveled the world, played against the best in the world and received countless accolades for her sporting prowess, Geitz says she’s a true Queenslander with maroon blood running through her veins.
It is the realisation that she has now been included amongst the pantheon of Queensland sporting greats in the Hall of Fame that has special meaning to her.
Speaking with the Caller at the Queensland Sports Awards, Geitz said she was now firmly focused on her young and growing family and was keeping busy with her motivational speaking engagements and brand ambassador roles.
She is also helping out where she can to advance the sport of netball, including advocating for its inclusion as an Olympic sport in time for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With no immediate plans to become officially involved again in the sport, off court she is very content with life in the ‘SportShine’ State.
She keeps active through the habits she formed from years of daily workouts. She’s a very proud mum to three active young children and goes bush from time to time – back to Allora, the country town where it all started.
Laura also has another dream, to see many more statues of other young country Queensland girls and boys who also worked hard to achieve their sporting goals appear in other country towns across Queensland.