That’s the case for the members of the Bondi Phoenix team, who are making their second trek to the Gold Coast to participate in Netball Australia’s annual mass participation event.
The majority of the team are mums that have become friends through watching their daughters play every week with Bondi Phoenix in the Randwick Netball Association.
They also play socially during the week in Love Netball, a competition in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, and team organiser Kelly West said the four days they spend together at NetFest is a great chance to get to know each other away from netball.
“We’ve all known each other for about four or five years but we’d never done anything outside of netball so to go away and get to know each other a bit more was awesome and we all had so much fun,” West said.
“We’d been wanting to put a team in from the start (of NetFest in 2011), but we didn’t have the numbers and we got ourselves together last year,” West said.
“We were really impressed with how well it was run. We all walked away knowing it was so much fun and we had such a good experience. We couldn’t wait until this year.
“We’ve been planning for it since January. Some of the girls that missed out this year have already registered to be part of the team next year.”
Bondi Phoenix are among a record number of teams – 278 overall – taking part in NetFest this year between 8-11 October.
The event officially opens on the sands of Surfers Paradise next Thursday night with a celebrity match featuring netball royalty in the form of Australian greats Liz Ellis, pictured right, Catherine Cox and the recently-retired Kimberlee Green along with New Zealand icon Irene van Dyk.
Australian Diamonds captain Laura Geitz will be umpiring the match with teammates Kim Ravaillion and Gretel Tippett among the spectators with another former Australian great Sharelle McMahon providing commentary.
Organisers have shifted the Saturday night party to the Surfers Paradise foreshore and entry is free and open to anyone.
Between 7-10pm you can come down and celebrate with your teammates and fellow competitors with X-Factor singer Nathaniel Willemse the headline act. There will also be prizes for the best dressed, so start getting creative.
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