Australian netball veteran Nat Medhurst has today announced her retirement from the sport, following an illustrious career spanning 17 years.
Medhurst, who is currently on maternity leave from the Collingwood Magpies, informed her teammates on Tuesday that she had played her final professional netball match.
The third most capped national league player, Medhurst took to the court 235 times and scored 4,415 goals across the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball competitions.
Medhurst began her professional career in her home state of South Australia with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2004, moved to the Queensland Firebirds in 2010, then onto the West Coast Fever in 2014 before finishing her career with the Collingwood Magpies.
Highlights of her domestic netball career include being named the Thunderbirds Club Champion in 2006 and twice winning the Tanya Denver Medal and the Adelaide Advertiser Player of the Year (2006 and 2007) while in South Australia.
In moving to the Queensland Firebirds, Medhurst won an ANZ Championship premiership and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Queensland Sportswoman of the Year in 2011. She also won the Firebirds’ MVP in 2012, went on to be Vice-Captain of the club in 2012 and became the first Australian to play 100 ANZ Championship matches.
Medhurst then captained the Fever in her first year at the club in 2014, was named the club’s MVP in 2015 and 2016, captained Fever during its first year in Suncorp Super Netball in 2017 and then played in the franchise’s first Grand Final appearance in 2018.
She then moved to Collingwood in 2019 where she played out her final season, helping the club to a finals appearance.
At an international level, Medhurst represented Australia as Diamond #144 on 86 occasions, debuting against Jamaica in Sydney in 2007 and going on to win three Netball World Cup gold medals, one Commonwealth Games gold medal, one Commonwealth Games silver medal and six Constellation Cup titles.
Throughout her Diamonds career, Medhurst scored 1,166 goals for the nation at 86% accuracy, was named the 2011 Netball World Cup Most Valuable Player and captained the Diamonds for one match in 2015 against New Zealand in Melbourne.
Prior to her Diamonds selection, Medhurst also represented Australia at the 2005 Netball World Youth Cup.
Off the court, Medhurst is committed to improving conditions for Australian netballers and has been involved with the Australian Netball Players’ Association since 2006, taking on the role of President for the past two years.
Medhurst spoke of the pride she feels in reflecting on her career.
“To have worn the green and gold once was a tremendous honour and to have worn it as many times as I did, is something I am incredibly proud of. To stand alongside and against our sports’ greatest players; to play a game I love in front of amazing crowds and to achieve the ultimate success is something I will always treasure,” she said.
“It is such a small group of women that have worn the dress and I am very privileged to be amongst that group. Whilst my time playing for Australia finished earlier than I would have liked, it was longer than I ever dreamed, and it has been one hell of a ride.”
Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner thanked Medhurst for her service to the sport.
“Nat has made an enormous contribution to Netball in Australia both on and off the court and we congratulate her on an incredible career,” she said.
“Her skill, athleticism and grace on the court were a privilege to watch, and her advocacy and passion as a leader of the Australian Netball Players’ Association have helped pave the way for the next generation of netballers. We thank her for her contribution to this great game.”