The party has started for thousands of social netballers on the Gold Coast.
The 2014 NetFest was officially launched on the sands at Surfers Paradise last night with Australian netball legends Liz Ellis, Sharelle McMahon and Catherine Cox taking part in a beach celebrity match featuring TV star Jessica Skarratt, 2014 NSW Swift midcourter Sarah Wall and V8 Supercar drivers.
Ellis, who is again the event ambassador along with McMahon this year, said the next three days is all about having fun with friends and celebrating being part of the wider netball community.
“This is my third year that I’ve been ambassador and the event has grown and grown each year,” Ellis said.
“I think the reason for that is the people who come up to the Gold Coast, when they go back home they talk about what such a great time they had and all the friends that they made and how much fun NetFest is.”
A record number of teams from across Australia and New Zealand are contesting the fourth annual NetFest, Netball Australia’s mass participation event for men and women aged 18 years and over.
Over the next three days, thousands of netballers of all ages and abilities will take the court for the `traditional’ outdoor competition or the increasingly popular beach netball competition played on custom-built courts at Surfers Paradise.
All teams will play a round robin tournament over Friday and Saturday with the top four in each division progressing to the finals on Sunday. Ellis said she’s amazed by the quality of some of netball that’s on display.
“Sharelle and I watched a couple of games last year that were really outstanding. There is some good quality netball being played,” she said.
“Last year I started to talk about it and next year I’m planning to enter a team in the beach competition.”
The Hilton Surfers Paradise will be the venue for the popular NetFest Party and many will be looking forward to seeing what costumes teams come dressed in to celebrate being part of the event.
There are still some tickets available with all proceeds from the night going to NetFest’s major partner The Celebrate Life Foundation, which is the community arm of Swisse. So if you’re looking for a way to unwind after a hectic day on court, dig deep and put on your party shoes to help out a good cause.
“I’m always amazed at the lengths some teams go to dressing up. They put so much time and effort and resources into it but it’s a lot of fun,” Ellis said.
For further information, visit netfest.com.au, or follow NetFestAU on Facebook and Twitter.