Kate Wandel (nee McCormack) played her 300th game for Blyth Snowtown against BSR on August 19.
Not only was it a major personal milestone, but also a club record.
Wandel’s 300th game has been a long time coming but she is back on court due to season-ending injuries and low numbers.
She grew up playing her junior and two senior years for Snowtown before the Blyth and Snowtown netball clubs amalgamated in 1995 and she has played for the Cats ever since.
However, she has not lived in the area for all those years, which displays her commitment to the club.
For 10 years Kate continued to play for Blyth Snowtown during her school days at St Marks in Port Pirie, university in Adelaide which lead to work in Pt Pirie as speech pathologist.
Luckily, Blyth farmer Robert Wandel kept her in the district.
Wandel is an understated and highly successful player on a team and individual level.
Not many years have passed where she has not been involved in a finals campaign, which may be why she has racked up more games than anyone else in the club.
Her most admired team-mates are club legends Tracey Andriske and Simone Bigg for their positioning and passing around the ring and her most admired coach is Janet Zweck for her knowledge and experience of the game.
Wandel is a mid-court player who predominately plays centre.
Recent players have highlighted that she is a valued team-mate due to her ability to get the job done efficiently and her support for the players is admirable.
Her father, Paul McCormack, describes Kate as a ‘gritty’ player – she plays with courage and will do everything she can to bring success to her team.
Current C1 coach Kerry-Lee Welke is happy she asked Wandel to ‘fill-in’ this season for C2 initially, but of course Kate has slipped into C1 very well, obtaining best and fairest votes in her first three matches.
Welke describes her as her ‘dream fill-in’ and identified her as an integral part of the team’s finals hopes.
As a quiet and calm player Kate has been recognised for numerous awards – all runner-up best and fairest in respective grades; 1998 – B2, 1999 – B2, 2007 – A2, 2011 – B2.
Even though she is a great contributor on the court, she has continued to be involved off the court.
Over the years Wandel has been coach, umpire, recorder and Cat Chat reporter for the club.
She is a reliable and quality leader and this is proven by the amount of times she has been a premiership captain.
She led her B1 team to a premiership both in 2003 and 2005, but her most memorable premiership as captain was the A2 grand final in 2007 against RSMU where her team just scrapped into finals finishing fourth and then went onto win the grand final by one goal after being down in the final minutes.
To make that premiership even sweeter, the Cats league footy side also won the premiership that day, which included her husband Robert Wandel and brothers Simon and Nick McCormack.
Speaking of a family of superstars - Wandel now joins elite company in the Cats history books.
Rob Wandel was the first footballer to notch up 300 games a few years ago (retired on 301) and Simon McCormack played his 300th game this year, unfortunately sustaining a season-ending injury.
She is humble about achieving the milestone and wishes Bernie Altmann hit 300 games first (Altmann was on track to her 300th match before Wandel , but a dreaded achilles injury struck her down on game 298).
Wandel has had a stellar netball career so far and still has many years of great netball left in the tank.
Kate Wandel’s 300th game has been a long time coming after she was coaxed back onto the court this year to help the club