By Max Davies
The family of young Whittlesea athletes who are making a name for themselves at state and national levels are reminded by their parents to always be humble.
Blake and Tara Watson are excelling in football and netball respectively, with successful sporting histories under their belts and much more expected for the future.
Blake has made the list of 26 with Sandringham Football Club in the VFL, meaning he has the opportunity to play at a higher level should a spot open up. He currently trains with Sandringham but still plays with Whittlesea.
He started playing tennis at the age of three, and after proving to be a talented player he quickly moved up through the divisions as he got older and competed in multiple tournaments.
Blake made the decision to drop tennis after it became clear he was unable to travel overseas to better his skills or hire a top tier coach.
He chose to play football for Whittlesea in the under 19s division, winning best and fairest in his first year back and also playing seniors in the same season, gaining the attention of VFL clubs like Sandringham.
Father Chris Watson said he was proud of how far Blake had come.
“We’re really rapt with where he’s come from, to transition from tennis to football successfully and keep enjoying what he’s doing,” he said.
“I’ve always told Blake to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat, and I’m always reminding him [and his siblings] that there’s always someone better, always a bigger picture than just themselves.”
Tara, meanwhile, was named as part of the under 17s Australian netball squad at age 16 and will travel to Tasmania in April to take part in national championships.
She played netball with Whittlesea until she was 12 years old when she moved to Diamond Creek Netball Club, playing in all divisions and making the most of opportunities when selected in different state level teams.
Tara was accepted into the Melbourne Vixens academy while playing in the under 19s division in the Victorian Netball League and she was recently named one of the Herald Sun’s top 50 young sportspeople to watch.
Mr Watson said he was supportive of their children’s decisions when it came to sport.
“My wife and I are happy as long as they are doing whatever is making them happy,” he said.
“It’s their decision, not ours. If they want to do sports, music, art, musical theatre, whatever it is it doesn’t make a difference to me, as long as they’re out doing something constructive then it’s all good.”
Mr Watson said there were also two younger siblings who were currently working on finding their passions as well, with one having an interest in sport and the youngest leaning towards musical theatre.