Dual-Gold Medallist and triple-premiership player Renae Ingles has announced her retirement from all forms of the game following the 2017 Suncorp Super Netball season.
Ingles took a break from the sport in 2016, giving birth to twins Jacob and Milla in July last year. She returned as a replacement player for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Round 6 of the inaugural season of Suncorp Super Netball.
For Ingles, the decision to retire has been one of the hardest she’s ever had to make. However, with husband, basketballer Joe Ingles, likely to be return to the NBA later this year, she has made the decision to put her family first.
“It has been extremely tough; your heart tells you one thing but your brain is saying another,” said Ingles.
“The Thunderbirds have gone to every length imaginable to make it possible for me to play (this year), but in the end, I need to think of my family. I am an ‘all in or all out’ kind of person, and I know I am not able to commit the way I need to and the way my teammates need me to.”
It has been a long road back to the Suncorp Super Netball League since having her twins last year, but Ingles is proud of her journey.
“When I found out I was having twins, I didn’t know if I would ever play again,” said Ingles.
“I know a lot of mums will understand what that is like. I am so proud of everything I have been able to do to get back here this year and I’m looking forward to celebrating everything I have been able to achieve in my career, from the beginning right up until this weekend.”
The midcourter made her international debut against New Zealand in Sydney on 6 September 2009 and has played 67 Tests for the Diamonds.
In 2013 Ingles was named winner of the Liz Ellis Diamond, netball’s highest accolade, in recognition of an outstanding year, playing a key role in the Thunderbirds’ 2013 title and the Diamonds’ Constellation Cup victory.
She played an instrumental part in Australia winning the Gold Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.
Ingles has played 160 national league matches, beginning her elite career in 2004 with the Melbourne Phoenix, before joining the Melbourne Vixens in 2008, marking a new trans-tasman era of netball. Renowned as one of the world’s leading wing defenders, Ingles made the move to the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2012, captaining the side in 2014 and 2015. She is a triple-premiership player, winning the title with the Melbourne Phoenix (2004), Melbourne Vixens (2009) and Adelaide Thunderbirds (2013).
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander first came across Renae Ingles as a 16-year-old, when she was a training partner for the Melbourne Phoenix in 2002.
“To see Renae play, it was a joy,” reminisced Alexander.
“As a netball coach, you saw the athleticism, you saw her netball ability and skill and it was exciting.
“To have over a decade of experiences with Renae, the complete ups and the complete downs, and to be a part of that netball journey, but also a personal point of view, it has been a great privilege.
“I feel so blessed and grateful to be a part of her life throughout her career,” said Alexander.
Test Caps: 67 (14th most experienced Australian player of all-time, out of 171 representatives)
Test debut: 6 September 2009 v New Zealand, Sydney, AUS
Australian Squad: 2008-15
Australian Team: 2009-10; 2012-15
Australian Fast5 Team: 2009
2009 Australian International Player of the Year
2009 Fast5 Netball World Series Bronze Medal
2010 Commonwealth Games Silver Medal
2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal
2013 Australian International Player of the Year
2013 Liz Ellis Diamond Winner
2015 Netball World Cup Gold Medal
National League Representation
Total National League Caps: 160 (2004 – Round 13, 2017)
National League Achievements
2004 Runners Up (Phoenix)
2005 Premiership (Phoenix)
2007 Runners Up (Phoenix)
2009 Premiership (Vixens)
2009 Melbourne Vixens Coaches’ Award
2013 Tanya Denver Award Winner (Thunderbirds)
2013 Premiership (Thunderbirds)
2013 ANZ Championship All Star Team (WD)
2014 Thunderbirds Members Player of the Year
2014 ANZ Championship All Star Team (WD)
2014 Tanya Denver Award Winner (Thunderbirds)
photos Janos Schmidt