Garth Tander introduced leading Australian netball goalkeeper Laura Geitz to V8 Supercars today.
Thanks to a mutual partnership with Holden, Geitz visited Queensland Raceway today to practice a few set shots with Tander, while the #2 factory driver gave her a guided tour through the Toll Holden Racing Team Commodore VE.
Geitz is the goalkeeper for the Queensland Firebirds in the ANZ Championships, and is also a part of the Australian Diamonds representative team.
Tander, one of the tallest V8 Supercars drivers in the field, told Speedcafe.com.au that ‘height’ was one of the first conversations struck up between the pair.
“It was funny, obviously talking with Laura, you compare your sports, and first thing that came up was height,” he said.
“She said, “you must be tall for a race car driver.” And yes, I’m probably in the top three V8 Supercars. I asked, “Where do you fit in with the other netballers?” And she said “Nah, I’m just average!”
Tander explained the reason for the meeting between the champion pair was due to Holden’s common sponsorship link.
“The connection between V8s and netball is that Holden support the netball league – the ANZ Championship,” he said.
“Holden is a major partner in that, and Laura plays for the Australian Diamonds, and Holden is a sponsor of that team as well. Laura is also a Holden ambassador within the Australian team.”
During their conversations, parallels could be drawn regarding the timing of their participation in their given sports. Currently, top-line netball in Australia is going through a major rejuvenation, with a big new television deal with ONE HD kick-starting a rush of corporate backing. Geitz, 22, is watching the sport go through major changes at a young age – just like Tander did back in 1998 when he debuted in the V8 Series.
“We were talking about netball and its resurge as a main stream sport through what they are doing in the championship,” he said.
“She is only 22, and being in the sport at the start of its growth phase is quite similar to myself, because I was fortunate to start in V8 Supercars pretty much at the start of its growth phase. Back then, it was an exciting time to be a part of the championship.”
Tomorrow sees the first day of practice at the Ipswich track with four practice sessions being held for the V8 Supercars.
In other Tander news, the two-time Bathurst winner debuts a new helmet this weekend. Tander has struck a new deal with Bell Helmets after a number of years with Stand 21.