Netball’s finest to be recognised at awards

LEABROWNE

The netball community will gather this Sunday to celebrate the achievements of players, coaches, officials and media over the past 12 months at the Australian Netball Awards.

The awards ceremony will follow the final match of the Coles Netball Test Series between Australia and Malawi on the Gold Coast, being played on Saturday night.

The highlight of the ceremony is the awarding of the prestigious Liz Ellis Diamond, recognising the player who receives the most votes for outstanding achievement in both the international arena and the ANZ Championship each year.

Past winners of this prestigious individual award are Madison Browne (2012), current Diamonds captain Laura Geitz (2011), former Australian skipper Natalie von Bertouch (2010), Julie Corletto (2009) and Mo’onia Gerrard (2008).

Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said 2013 had been an outstanding year for Australian netball.

She highlighted the Diamonds reclaiming the Constellation Cup from New Zealand with a 4-1 series win, the Adelaide Thunderbirds creating history by winning its second ANZ Championship crown and a new broadcast arrangement with Fox Sports and SBS.

“It’s wonderful to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of netball, both on and off the court,” Palmer said.

“It’s also an opportune time to thank our many corporate and government partners for their support of our sport over the past 12 months.

“The Diamonds series victory over the New Zealand Silver Ferns, where they won four Tests in a row against our Trans Tasman rivals for the first time since 1998, gives the team a lot of confidence in their quest to win the Gold Medal at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

“We’re excited to see the emergence of some young talent such as Kim Ravaillion, Paige Hadley and Gabrielle Simpson through our Australian 21/U side that won silver at this year’s World Youth Championships into our Diamonds program.

“That’s great recognition for our High Performance program and the respective state academies these athletes progressed through.”

Other awards to be presented at the function include the Coles Australian International Player of the Year, the Australian Player of the ANZ Championship, the Australian 21/U Team Player of the Year, the Australian Sports Commission Coach of the Year and the Umpire of the Year.

You can follow Netball Australia and the Diamonds’ Twitter handles and Facebook pages for regular updates on who has won each award.