It seems a lifetime ago but 2016 began with a winning series in England versus the Roses and the continuation of the evolution of the Diamonds towards the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.
It was also a year that enabled us all to reflect on the success of the World Cup victory in Sydney and the joy that brought to all our netball family around the country.
Especially during our clinic visits sponsored by ANZ the importance of connecting with our community was very evident, and seeing first hand the hard work all our volunteers undertake to make netball the number one choice sport for girls and women.
It is heartening and gives us all a sense of we are on the right track when you see our sport operating in its entirety.
This also continued with my visits as National Coach to all our Trans-Tasman Netball League teams and my visits to Netball Tasmania, Netball NT and Netball ACT, where I worked with our up and coming talented athletes and coaches.
The final ANZ Championship season far exceeded our expectations and finished with the most intense and closely fought final in history. Congratulations to the Queensland Firebirds on achieving back to back titles and to coach Roselee Jencke on her brilliant stewardship.
My visits also took me to New Delhi in India to coach the coaches involved in the Goal program run by the Naz Foundation. A truly inspiring visit on so many levels and to witness first-hand the confidence and joy playing netball brought to the participants and their parents was a privilege.
We thought nothing could top the previous year but the announcement of the new Suncorp Super Netball League clubs and broadcast deal with Channel Nine and Telstra was head spinning indeed.
It is set for the be the world’s best domestic netball league shown more widely on TV all over Australia and around the world.
The numbers in the league allow more Australian athletes to perform at their peak and will enhance and increase the depth of our playing talent in Australia.
Channel Nine has already shown how popular the Fast5 Netball World Series weekend can be with sports fans around the country and it will be exciting to see them working with Suncorp Super Netball to take Netball to the next level.
We are also excited to see the Diamonds brought to you by Channel Nine.
The finish of the year was almost perfect for the Diamonds with nine wins and one loss for the 2016 international season.
Three titles were secured and it is full credit to our entire Squad led by retiring Captain Clare McMeniman, the support staff, coaching staff, selectors, and event staff.
We are busily working away now at pre-season with athlete meetings already taking place and plans being set for 2017 in conjunction with our Suncorp Super League teams.
The Diamonds are heading to South Africa for the first time in many years next January, in addition to England, to defend our Netball Quad Series title. We are focused on preparing thoroughly for what will be a demanding tour.
We would love your support back home!
I will be enjoying my Christmas break and the weather in Goa, India this year and I wish our entire netball family and fans a safe and enjoyable festive season.
Commonwealth Games in 2018 less than 18 months away