Netball Australia has received a boost on the eve of the domestic international season with the launch of a new Coles partnership in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Coles will become the official supermarket sponsor of Netball Australia’s School Program and naming rights partner for the upcoming Test series, which includes three Tests against the New Zealand Silver Ferns and two Tests against the Malawi Queens.
The Coles Netball Schools Program encourages teachers, principals and sports coordinators to register to become school ambassadors to ensure netball has a continuous presence in schools.
The partnership will see Australian Diamonds Madison Browne (Melbourne Vixens), Rebecca Bulley (Adelaide Thunderbirds), Kim Green (NSW Swifts), Demelza McCloud (Queensland Firebirds) and Natalie Medhurst (West Coast Fever) visit schools as ambassadors.
“The Coles Netball Schools Program consists of a range of initiatives, programs and resources that have been designed specifically to increase netball’s presence in schools,” Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said.
“Creating passion for netball within the school environment will mean that our sport remains popular and significant for all Australians.
“Thanks to Coles, we’ll have athlete ambassadors who will visit schools to promote the program and recognise those teacher ambassadors who have signed up.”
The national school program, which was initially launched twelve months ago, has already seen 800 school ambassadors register to receive the I want to be a Netballer Interactive Whiteboard program, a suite of lesson plans, education resources and ongoing support from member organisations.
“Grassroots programs such as the Coles Netball Schools program are embraced by communities and offer Aussie kids a chance to get involved in sport,” Coles Managing Director Ian McLeod said.
“We’re delighted to be entering this partnership and we’re excited to see the next generation of netballers discovering and enjoying their sporting experiences.”
The Australian Diamonds are in Adelaide ahead of the Coles Netball Test Series, which kicks off on Friday night with the third Test of the Constellation Cup against the New Zealand Silver Ferns at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
With the series level 1-1, the 2013 Constellation Cup will be decided on Australian soil with the remaining three Tests to be contested in Adelaide (Friday 4 Oct), Melbourne (Mon 7 Oct) and Canberra (Sun 13 Oct).
The opening game of the Coles Netball Test Series between the Australian Diamonds and New Zealand Silver Ferns at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Friday will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 1 and SBS 2 from 7.30pm (CST) / 8pm (AEST).