In 2017, Netball Australia celebrates its 90th anniversary; 90 years of campaigning for women on and off the sporting field, celebrating their successes, leading change and advocacy for Australia’s sportswomen and supporting their growth and leadership capabilities.
This International Women’s Day calls on the community to Be Bold for Change. Being bold in helping to forge a more inclusive, gender equal world.
As we look for examples of how netball has evolved over time and has sought new challenges to be bold for change, Netball Australia looks to the launch of its new national netball league, Suncorp Super Netball (SSN), in 2017.
SSN has taken the sport of netball where it has never been before. It was all on the line in showcasing the fierceness and finesse of some of the world’s best athletes.
Recognising this bold new opportunity, players from around the world have joined Australia’s best to compete in the strongest domestic league internationally in their sport, reinforced by a collective bargaining agreement that supports players to continue both professional and educational pursuits, supported with a maternity leave scheme and raising the average player salary to $67,500.
The league has seen the inclusion of three new teams, each supported by AFL and rugby league franchises. Magpies Netball aligned with Collingwood Football Club, GIANTS Netball with the Greater Western Sydney GIANTS and Sunshine Coast Lightning aligned with the Melbourne Storm.
Lisa Alexander, Australian Diamonds Coach will be Bold for Change in “supporting our athletes and coaches to be the best in the world.”
Players from New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Scotland, Jamaica, England, Fiji and Malawi are bringing their own distinctive styles of play to the dynamic league, which will lift the standard of netball internationally, leaving a lasting legacy across sport the world over.
GIANTS netball player, Australia Post One Netball Ambassador and mother Rebecca Bulley, will “welcome all women to netball regardless of background, ability or age.”
Away from the elite competition, Netball Australia through the One Netball program in Australia and in Asia and the Pacific, has been committed to improving the lives of women and girls in marginalised communities.
With a focus on increasing participation and engagement amongst Indigenous, CALD and disability communities in Australia, One Netball seeks to create inclusive netball environments for all Australians, regardless of background or ability.
One Netball Community Award Winner Mariella Teuria, will “continue to provide an avenue for young people from multicultural backgrounds and youth at risk to engage in a positive, supporting environment.”
One Netball Asia and Pacific has been providing leadership development programs, supporting women to be strong, confident leaders in their communities. The recent Pacific Women’s Leadership Program in Papua New Guinea empowered female sports administrators of Pacific nations to become mentors and leaders amongst their communities.
The Confident Girls Foundation was launched this week, supporting vulnerable girls to thrive through the power of netball. The Foundation helps girls achieve their dreams by highlighting and helping eliminate key drivers of gender bias including, financial barriers, lack of leadership opportunities, isolation, gender stereotypes that negatively affect young women, and barriers to physical activity.
Netball Australia and the wider netball community will continue to look for ways to be bold for change in supporting women’s equality in Australia and the rest of the world.
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