Diamonds sparkle at women sport awards

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The accolades keep coming for the Australian Diamonds and Australian netball in general with the sport claiming three honors at the Women’s Health `I Support Women In Sport’ awards in Sydney.

The Diamonds were named the A-Team of the Year, captain Laura Geitz took out the Leadership Legend award while recently retired great Catherine Cox received the Service to Sport award.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Diamonds have been named the best female Team in Australian sport while Geitz follows on from former captain Natalie von Bertouch in winning the leadership award.

Speaking from Auckland, where they are preparing for the fourth and final Test of the Constellation Cup, Geitz and coach Diamonds Lisa Alexander said they are proud to receive the accolades over some high-quality female athletes in Australian sport.

“I’m just so honored to win a leadership award and in my first 12 months captaining the side,” Geitz said.

“The girls are stoked with the (Team of the Year) award and being recognised for all the hard work we’ve been doing not only on the court but off it as well.

“We want to become one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams and this is nice recognition along the way. It’s such an easy team to lead.”

Bianca Chatfield and Rebecca Bulley attended the awards to collect the Team of the Year accolade on behalf of the Diamonds.

141013_WomensHealth_ISWIS_Establishment_0875Alexander said Geitz and Cox, who bowed out one of Australian netball’s most decorated players this year, were outstanding athletes and fantastic role models.

“I value the `I Support Women In Sport’ awards because it’s a really positive initiative to lift the profile of women sport,” Alexander said.

“For Laura, it’s great recognition of how far she’s come in the last 12 months. She’s come a long way and wants to get better at what she does.

“Laura’s a very humble person who she leads the team so well.

“Cath has been a part of netball for almost 20 years. When I took over coaching the (Australian) team Cath was acting captain for a lot of that period and I valued her support and loyalty. Cath always thinks of the team first.

“Cath has contributed significantly to our sport, has had an amazing career and is an absolute legend of not just our sport, but Australian sport.”

Alexander said the Diamonds were proud to be named the best Australian female sports team of the past 12 months.

“We understand that we are leaders in our community and are pleased that Women’s Health Australia readers have recognised that we are doing some good work and that they’re proud of us,” Alexander said.

“This team plays like a unit and really reflects great Aussie values.”

Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said the `I Support Women In Sport Awards’ is a wonderful initiative introduced by the Women’s Health magazine to recognise Australia’s most successful female athletes.

“We congratulate all nominees and award winners who have achieved so much in their sport and life. A particular highlight of the event was to hear Olympian Jess Gallagher talk about her experiences as a vision impaired athlete. Such an inspiration.” Palmer said.

Athlete Sally Pearson received the top honor, named the Sportswoman of the Year.

Pictures: Courtesy of Women’s Health Australia