An exciting new Netball Australia initiative aimed to promote and showcase netball has drawn all-encompassing support from Australia’s halls of power in Canberra.
Netball Australia has launched the inaugural Parliamentary Friends of Netball which has attracted a healthy cross section of Members of Parliament and Senators from all states and territories.
The entire Australian Diamonds squad joined Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer and Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 Chief Executive Marne Fechner at Parliament House in Canberra to show their support for the role netball plays in empowering women and girls, from the grass roots to the elite.
The Parliamentary Friends of Netball will be co-chaired by passionate netball supporters Karen Andrews MP and Senator the Hon Kate Lundy.
“I’m proud to co-chair the Parliamentary Friends of Netball group which provides an opportunity for Members of Parliament and Senators to learn more about the sport and engage directly with athletes, coaches and support staff,” Ms Andrews said.
“It is great to see so much interest from our Federal Parliamentarians many attendees register for the first event and I hope to build on this momentum in 2015, particularly in the lead up to the Netball World Cup in Sydney in August.
“The Parliamentary Friends of Netball group recognises the valuable role netball plays in local communities. With the highest participation rate of any team sport amongst girls, netball provides a healthy outlet that can boost self-confidence and foster camaraderie and sportsmanship.
“There is no doubt that the more we can encourage young girls into sport the better they will be for their participation and with 5273 netball clubs around the country, netball is a natural pathway for many girls.”
“I’ve been very fortunate to watch the Australian Diamonds play and I appreciate their dedication to being the best netballers in the world, their skills and athleticism and – most importantly – their humility,” Senator Lundy said.
“They all love representing Australia and they are all wonderful role models for the Australian community.
“Leading into next year’s Netball World Cup in Sydney, it’s fantastic that the Diamonds will be basing themselves in Canberra at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence to prepare to take on the world’s best.
“With any luck the Australian Parliamentary Sports Club Netball Team – the mighty OWLS – might be able to get some tips from Coach Lisa Alexander while they are in Canberra.”
Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said every member of the current Diamonds squad started their netball careers on a court at a local club or association somewhere around Australia.
She said the sport appreciates the help it receives from the respective Federal Senators and Members in improving facilities to encourage young women to get active and physically involved in life.
“I’m sure there are young girls playing in representative teams across Australia that one day dream of playing for the Diamonds,” Alexander said.
“We thank every Member of Parliament for getting behind the Parliamentary Friends of Netball and their support of the Diamonds in the lead-up to next year’s Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015.”