Grassroots clubs win with Foxtel Diamonds for Dreams program

2013 ConstellationCup2

Thanks to the Foxtel All-Stars Diamonds for Dreams program five grassroots netball clubs in need had extra incentive to cheer on the Australian Diamonds during their triumphant Coles Netball Test Series campaign against New Zealand and Malawi.

At every Australian Diamonds Test, 20 representatives from each Diamonds for Dreams club came along to cheer on their idols such as Caitlin Bassett, Natalie Medhurst, Caitlin Thwaites and Erin Bell. Thanks to Foxtel, for every goal scored by the Diamonds the chosen club received $50 (up to a maximum of $3000).

Following the five Test Series the Foxtel All-Stars Diamonds for Dreams program has contributed $14,000 in total to the five grassroots netball clubs in need. Each club was selected based on using funds to grow the sport of netball amongst Australia’s diverse community in a safe, inclusive and fun environment.

The clubs selected for this year’s Foxtel All-Stars Diamonds for Dreams program were:

  • Adelaide Test – Garville Netball Club
  • Melbourne Test – St Mary’s Netball Club
  • Canberra Test – Divas Sports Club
  • Wollongong Test – Bankstown City Netball Association
  • Gold Coast Test – MacGregor Netball Association

Here’s a brief summary of why each club was chosen to be involved in the initiative.

Adelaide’s Garville Netball Club has teamed up with a local multicultural school to deliver an eight-week netball program to 15 teenage girls of diverse backgrounds in conjunction with Multicultural Youth SA.

The program was led by former Thunderbird, Jo Sutton, who worked with the girls and their families to teach them the basic skills of netball and encourage them to keep playing the sport.

Equipment, including second hand shoes and uniforms were provided to all the girls as was weekly transport to ensure they were safely taken home. The participants were introduced to Garville club members to provide a connection between the Netball program and the club environment.

Next year the club, which already boasts 300 active members, hopes to form a multicultural team to play in a Netball SA competition.

Dandenong based St Mary’s Netball Club has 6 teams of enthusiastic 5-17 year olds. With players from refugee and underprivileged backgrounds, many find it difficult to pay fees or afford equipment and uniforms – but are so dedicated to the sport they walk long distances to and from training.

St Mary’s also provide training programs run by elite athletes at no cost to the players.

Netball not only aides in fitness for the children, but also provides social interaction and integration into the local community.

The Foxtel All-Stars Diamonds for Dreams program will help the club purchase much needed equipment for training and help provide club uniforms.

Canberra’s Diva Sports Club was established in 2010 with the president spending $5000 of their own savings to buy uniforms and equipment.

The Divas now have five junior and senior teams and the club raises funds through an annual cake stall to host an end-of-season BBQ for players and their families.

Players come from a number of different backgrounds; both in nationality and family dynamic, and many cannot afford registration fees.

Being involved in the Foxtel All-Stars Diamonds for Dreams program will be a huge boost for the club and allow them to continue the purchase of new uniforms and equipment. Next year they hope to run skills sessions with members from other clubs such as the Arrawang Netball Community.

The Bankstown City Netball Association boasts many players and non-players from multicultural backgrounds and embraces its multicultural community.

The BCNA are eager for people from all backgrounds to be able to participate in netball and want to hold a series of come-and-try clinics in February next year.

These clinics, that will also provide a BBQ at the end of each session, will provide an opportunity for those not familiar with the sport a chance to learn new skills, build confidence and make friends.

In addition BCNA will assist in the placement and registration of these players (and non-players) into its existing clubs.

They will use the money donated by Foxtel to help pay registration and uniform fees for their diverse members, equipment for the association and clubs and the general upkeep of its facilities.

Brisbane’s MacGregor Netball Association is made up of 26 clubs and over 1200 players, coaches and umpires in a range of activities from NetSetGO! to senior competitions throughout the year.

It is completely run by volunteers with one of their senior coaches a paraplegic who has been involved with the association for more than three decades and also fills the role as president.

Her tireless work has been acknowledged by the Brisbane City Council with the Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Sports award in 2010.

MacGregor has several disabled players and fully integrates all members into appropriate teams.

MacGregor is also home to the Association of Deaf Netball QLD, whose members successfully participate during Night Season Competitions under the auspices of officials specifically trained in the use of flags for umpiring the deaf.

MacGregor is proud and mindful of its responsibilities to all members of the numerous cultural, indigenous and community groups it serves – from the many indigenous players who have competed at representative level, the mid-week school programs to one of its member clubs that sponsors Kenyan refugees who would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate.

The association plans to use its money to enhance the special skills needed by officials, umpires, coaches and managers to carry out their responsibilities competently.

Foxtel is a supporting partner of grassroots netball, the Australian Netball Diamonds and the ANZ Championship with FOX SPORTS broadcasting live and in high definition all ANZ Championship games, including finals, plus all Australian Diamonds international Tests in Australia and New Zealand live and in high definition.