Victoria aiming for hat-trick of shield victories

Marie Little Shield 2014Victoria’s All-Abilities team will be aiming to make it a hat-trick of titles when they compete against New South Wales and South Australia in the annual Marie Little OAM Shield this weekend.

The Marie Little OAM Shield provides an opportunity for netballers with an intellectual disability to compete at a national tournament and it’s the third year the event has been contested between New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

The 2015 Marie Little OAM Shield will be played at Adelaide’s Netball SA Stadium, alongside Round 5 of the Australian Netball League.

But there will be an air of sadness around this year’s tournament as it’s the first to be played since Little passed away last year.

The founder of AUSRAPID, Little served as President from 1986 until 2011 and worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Australians with an intellectual disability using sport as the medium.

Marie Little Shield 2014“AUSRAPID is delighted that Marie Little’s legacy will live on in a sport she was so passionate about and via a national tournament which focuses on ability and how netball can include all of its community members and celebrate diversity,” AUSRAPID CEO Robyn Smith said.

The hosts and New South Wales will open the tournament at 5pm on Saturday with matches continuing at 8.30am on Sunday and running through until the Final at 1.30pm. Each state will play four short-format matches to determine the Grand Finalists.

Netball SA CEO Ben Scales is delighted to host such a prestigious tournament for the first time.

“It’s great to be able to provide such a fantastic platform for players with an intellectual disability, further showcasing the diversity and inclusiveness of our sport,” Scales said.

“We’ve engaged with the broader community to inform them of the tournament and the athletes who play in it, and we’d love to see people come along this weekend and show their support as it promises to be an exciting competition.”

Entry to the stadium is $4.50 for an adult, $3.50 concession and $2 for a child.

MARIE LITTLE OAM SHIELD TEAMS

Marie Little Shield 2014Netball NSW: Dallas Austin, Karina Baines, Rebel Ervasti, Sarah-Jayne Forrest, Melissa Gallagher, Kristin Mercer, Bernadette Mills, Eliza Mills, Anthea Well, Uriah Weston. Coach: Jenny O’Keeffe.

Netball Victoria: Kylie Campbell, Tamara Chumbley, Courtney Drake, Loretta Devlin-Smith, Renay Hall, Sue Hoskin, Emma Mangan, Sheree Marks, Mikayla Quinn, Ashlea Rollason. Coach: Janet Parker.

South Australia Rubies: Amanda Berry, Sarah Byrne, Alexandra Connell, Storm Duncan, Kim Flannigan, Isabella Ivancic-Holland, Sophie Kneebone, Stephanie Koutroumbis, Ashlee Harnett, Samantha Walker. Coach: Tricia Crockford.