Australian netball featured prominently at the I Support Women in Sport Awards last night in Sydney with the Australian Diamonds and former captains Natalie von Bertouch and Liz Ellis collecting awards.
The Diamonds were announced as A-Team of the Year award, which recognises ‘an awesome bunch of chicks who’ve kicked some serious butt in the sporting world. Each individual has worked together as a team to create some series success’.
The reigning world champions continue to be one of Australia’s most successful national teams and just this week reclaimed the Constellation Cup title from the New Zealand Silver Ferns.
With the 2014 Commonwealth Games less than 12 months away, the Diamonds couldn’t have hoped for a better preparation and the strength of the team, despite some generational change with several key players retiring or unavailable this year, just highlights the depth of this high achieving team.
The Australians, who are looking to win Commonwealth Games gold for the first time since 2002, downed arch-rivals New Zealand 4-1 in the series – winning four consecutive Tests against the Silver Ferns for the first time since 1998.
Former Diamonds captain Natalie von Bertouch was awarded the Leadership Legend.
The South Australian was recognised for her outstanding leadership skills – true courage, integrity, passion and respect – all while skippering her Australian Diamonds and Adelaide Thunderbirds to success.
An inspirational leader both on and off the court, von Bertouch led her ANZ Championship team to a historic second trans-Tasman premiership after her side won 13 straight games en route to the title.
The 30-year-old retired from netball following the ANZ Championship title, finishing her career with two World Netball Championship gold medals, two Commonwealth Games silver medals and two trans-Tasman premierships.
Ellis was honoured for her media work with the Woman of Sporting Words award.
The former captain features prominently in the media, including as a commentator of domestic and international netball for SBS 2 and FOX SPORTS, fighting for the I Support Women in Sport cause.
The Australian Diamonds are in action tonight when they host the Malawi Queens for the first time ever on Australian soil at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong from 8.00pm.
Tickets are still available from Ticketek on www.ticketek.com.au, by phone on 132 849, and any Ticketek outlet. The Test will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS and delayed on SBS 2 at 10.30pm.