Serious injury encourages new Hamilton Kangaroos mentor Mel Starr to focus on coaching

FRESH FACE: New Hamilton Kangaroos netball coach Mel Starr moved to the south-west from Melbourne less than a year ago. The non-playing mentor is orginally from Perth. Picture: Christine Ansorge
FRESH FACE: New Hamilton Kangaroos netball coach Mel Starr moved to the south-west from Melbourne less than a year ago. The non-playing mentor is orginally from Perth. Picture: Christine Ansorge

COACHING is giving new Hamilton Kangaroos leader Mel Starr a way to stay involved in netball.

“I broke my leg pretty badly two and a half years ago, tripped in a Coles’ car park, snapped my tib and fib straight through and dislocated my ankle,” she said.

“I ended up with compartment syndrome so I am pretty lucky to still have two legs.

“I might not be able to play but I can still walk, so silver linings.”

Perth-raised Starr, 32, moved to the south-west in April 2017 for work after a five-year stint in Melbourne.

Hamilton Kangaroos president John Pepper heard of her coaching capabilities – she was working for Victorian Netball League club Peninsula Waves – and invited her to the club.

She now feels entrenched at Melville Oval and is busy settling into life as the Kangaroos’ open grade netball coach.

“I think he (Pepper) thought I was still a player as opposed to a bit broken down but as soon as I moved here he put me in touch with Jill Robinson who was the director,” Starr said.

“I spent a little bit of time around the club last year and was excited for the opportunity to step up and take a full-time role.

“I had a break from playing maybe 10 years ago from playing through injury and I couldn’t be involved in the sport during that time, it was too hard.

“But I think now that I am a bit older and I was done with the competitive game, it was easier to step into a coaching role.” 

Starr will have former Hampden league best and fairest winner Amanda Huf at her disposal after the wing defence confirmed her return.