From moving cattle to the Silver Ferns – Kelly Jury credits farm life for meteoric rise

Netball New Zealand's tallest asset Kelly Jury has come a long way from her days on her family farm in south east Taranaki, turning heads after a strong season for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and playing an instrumental part in New Zealand's under-21 Youth World Cup success in Botswana last week.

A farm girl at heart, Jury was brought up in the little town of Makahu, about 75 minutes drive from New Plymouth.

Jury says her initial move from Makahu to the big smoke (Hamilton) took a while to get used to.

"I think I've got used to it now, but first I was like 'wow there's lots of traffic and lots of noise'", Jury said.

She puts her rise in her netball career down to her parents' work ethic around the family farm.

"You could say I got a lot of my values of hard work and stuff by watching my parents, of how hard they worked to keep this place (farm) going," she said.

"So farm life out here you know, I had a great childhood. After school me and my brothers would get off the bus and get straight onto the motorbikes.

Jury admitted she doesn't have any musical or hidden talents, telling 1 NEWS "I’m still waiting to find them". Source: 1 NEWS

"We would go down to find dad and then we'll be helping dad out with whatever we could - moving stock, moving cattle and weighing lambs."

Jury plays both goal defence and goal keep and says her friends still struggle to fathom that she is a professional athlete.

"A lot of my friends feel like I'm too laid back to be a professional athlete because when they see me they think I'm really good at switching on and off from my netball life and social life."

Standing at 192cm tall, the Taranaki native has not let her meteoric rise go to her head.

"So when they see me they're like "'you're too humble to be playing that kind of netball'".

Jury was named the player of the match in New Zealand's 60-57 win against arch rivals Australia in Gabarone, Botswana last week.

The 20-year-old was named in the Silver Ferns squad for the Quad Series earlier this year, making her debut in February against England.

She's now played four times for the Silver Ferns. 

Silver Ferns' goal keep Kelly Jury of New Zealand and Bethan Dyke of Wales compete for the ball. Source: Photosport

"I'm very laid back and mum probably freaks out about that. She thinks I'm a bit too laid back at times."

She was also part of the Ferns' team that won the 2016 Fast5 Netball World Series in October.

Jury had a major setback at the start of her professional career, rupturing her Achilles the day after after signing with the Magic.

She eventually made her debut for Magic in 2016, as well as studying sport and leisure part-time at the University of Waikato.

The Silver Ferns begin their Quad Series campaign on August 27 in Brisbane against South Africa.

Jury made her debut for the Ferns in February and was named the player of the match in NZ's U21 final against Australia last week. Source: 1 NEWS