England star Natalie Haythornthwaite is happy to be back in Australia and eager to play netball, after returning home to be close to her family during the coronavirus pandemic.
The NSW Swifts player was one of five imports from either England or South Africa, who left Australia after it was decided in late March the start of Super Netball would be delayed from May 2 until at least June 30.
While some of her compatriots including teammate Helen Housby and the Giants Jo Harten opted to stay in Sydney, Haythornthwaite chose to go home to the north of England.
"I know some of the girls decided to stay here, but for me personally (with) everything that was going on, I just knew that I needed to be close by to my family just in case anything were to happen," Haythornthwaite told AAP.
"My health was alright and my fiance and my family.
"I was very fortunate and grateful that my family was right, but it was scary seeing the news"
Haythornthwaite said the Swifts were brilliant in helping her to stay connected while she was in England, as she was able to join them in remote training sessions despite the time difference
"Some of the sessions the Australian lot did in the evening, I would get up in the morning and I would do a live session with the girls," she said.
Thanks to her fiancee's employers in England she didn't miss out on the bike and gym equipment her Sydney-based teammates got when they started individual training.
"I was really lucky, my fiance works in a school and they were very good in lending some equipment," Haythornthwaite said.
"I had a bike and dumbbells so I was really grateful to Josh and his school for allowing me to borrow the equipment."
Diamonds' defender Sarah Klau is one teammate who has kept herself busy during the pandemic.
She is in the final year of her Masters degree for Occupational Therapy, studying three subjects with exams in June and has been juggling those commitments with her individual netball training."
"To be honest I feel like I have been super busy," Klau told AAP.
While the delay to the start of the Super Netball season has created more study time, it could cause an issue later in the year, depending on when her sporting commitments conclude.
"Towards the end of the year I have an eight-week placement so that will be challenging to fit in now that the season has been pushed back," Klau said.
"I'm hoping to fit in somehow so I can graduate."
Australian Associated Press