Elsma Merillo (nee Harris) was aged just 16 when first named in an Australian team, but netball’s age rules at the time prevented her from travelling to New Zealand in 1965.
Merillo eventually made her Test debut two years later during the 1967 Netball World Cup, played in her home town of Perth.
Prior to focusing on netball, she had also represented her state in swimming and tennis.
She could play at either goal shooter or goal attack, Merillo was part of Australia’s triumphant 1971 world championship-winning team in Jamaica before retiring to focus on her career.
In 1969 Merillo was named vice-captain for Australia’s series against New Zealand and captained the side in two Tests.
A physical education teacher and lecturer in human movement, Merillo was the inaugural administrator of Western Australia’s State League and also enjoyed an extensive coaching career – including serving a stint as apprentice coach with the Australian team to Joyce Brown.
She coached an Australian `B’ team on a tour of New Zealand in 1994.
2000 Sports Medal of Australia; Western Australian Institute of Sport – Hall of Champions
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