NetSetGO Centre thrives on community spirit

Community spirit came to the fore when Michelle Shaw decided to start up an ANZ NetSetGO Centre in the rural Queensland town of Inglewood this year.

Parents supported her to help run the weekly Wednesday afternoon sessions at Inglewood State School and, by the end of the program which ran for 13 weeks, they were teaching introductory netball skills to 37 children aged between five and 14.

It was the first time that a netball program had been offered in the town, located in the Darling Downs region of Queensland.

Prior to that, Shaw (pictured kneeling in the front row of the picture right) said the closest ANZ NetSetGO Centre for her eight-year-old daughter Abbey to get involved with was at a club in Warwick – located over 100km away.

Shaw decided to complete her Foundation coaching course through Netball Queensland, which meant a six-hour round trip to Brisbane to get her qualifications, with the aim of starting a program in Inglewood at the beginning of term three.

That saw about 30 kids come along from the town’s two primary schools Inglewood State School and St Maria Goretti.

“We put the word out and notices in the school newsletters and I got a lot of people contacting me asking about the program,” Shaw said.

“I didn’t just want to do one term. I wanted to give them something of substance. It was all new to me as it was them.

IMG_0382“We got about 29 or 30 the first day and then had a couple of others join later on, our overall figure was 37 participants.”

Shaw’s main “coaching” panel consisted of husband Matt, a police officer in the town, school teacher Julie Slack and mum Bec Johnstone – both who also had children involved.

“(Matt) was with me most weeks – he worked the whistle really well,” Shaw said. “Julie also ran a netball program some lunchtimes at school.

“All the parents were great. No one said `no’ if I asked out for help.”

Shaw had grown up playing netball in suburban Melbourne and country Victoria, but hadn’t been involved with the sport for more than a decade before becoming an ANZ NetSetGO coordinator.

She said seeing the girls and boys improve their netball skills and develop a love for the game was satisfying.

“It didn’t happen overnight but from our first day to the last couple of weeks where we were basically creating teams and playing games, it (their development) was amazing.IMG_0378

“The little kids’ ball skills got better and they all had fun. Towards the end of term three we got the parents down for some games and the kids were actually telling their parents how to play.”

Shaw’s already had this year’s participants – along with some prospective newcomers – get in contact about when the program will return in 2016. She’s aiming to kick start it again in the second term.

“It’s been something different to put out there for the girls and boys in the community to learn and do after school,” she said.

To find your closest ANZ NetSetGO Centre and to register online visit www.netsetgo.asn.au and follow on Facebook.