Netball encourages social diversity

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Social inclusion remains a key priority for Netball Australia and anyone with a passion for the sport in any capacity is welcomed with open arms.

Netball has played an active role in celebrating Social Inclusion Week, which runs until December 1 and encourages communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, age groups, nationalities and the disadvantaged.

Melbourne Vixens star Geva Mentor is one of the Australia-wide ambassadors for Social Inclusion Week, which began in 2009, and said engaging communities has many positives.

“We embrace netball for all. It’s a great way to interact and have a healthy lifestyle and be involved and feel part of your community,” Mentor said.

Young Vixens star Kate Moloney has been out and about across regional Victoria this week as part of Netball Victoria’s Netball For All Road Show. She held clinics in Bairnsdale, Mornington and Ballarat.

This week also marked White Ribbon Day, an important campaign that encourages men and boys of Australia to make a difference by swearing an oath never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women and promote positive attitudes and behaviors towards women.

White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women.

Netball Australia is committed to continuing to provide women and girls a safe environment in which to compete and participate in sport without the fear of violence.

Using a three-year Community Action Grant from the Federal Government, Netball Australia has supported the David Wirrpanda Foundation since 2012 to deliver sessions on healthy and respectful relationships through their Deadly Sista Girlz program.

The Deadly Sista Girlz is an award-winning program that engages, inspires and empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls between the ages of 8 and 17 years.

Using positive role models such as Deadly Sista Girlz Program Manager and West Coast Fever player Josie Janz, the sessions help participants to understand the behaviours and characteristics of healthy relationships, to highlight, recognise and act on warning signs that a relationship is abusive, and to encourage contact with support services when needed.