Harmonious display on courts of Parliament

hd2I’ve coached in a lot of places around the world and this week I added another court to my list – Parliament House in Canberra.

A flying visit to Canberra for the Australia Post Harmony Day Netball Match between the “Owls”, the politicians, and the “Harmony” team (the netballers and the AFL players), saw the heights of great playing, coaching and umpiring on the outside netball courts of Parliament House.

Annie Sargeant swapped her commentating duties for umpiring and equipped herself well as the netball fairly whipped around the court and great skills were on display from the likes of Sarah Henderson MP, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Dr Andrew Southcott MP, Senator Kate Lundy and Senator Bridget McKenzie MP.

The pollies quite obviously love their netball and it can be seen with their determined and focused approach on the court.

David Roden and Patrick Karnezis represented the AFL as Harmony Day Ambassadors and thoroughly enjoyed their netball experience. Melina Saunders and Sepi Langi represented the Canberra Darters, along with our very own Julia Symons from Netball Australia, and were able to teach the footballers a thing or two about our great game.hd1

My coaching skills were tested in the early morning light as I encouraged the “Owls” to lift to a new level and communicate the great netball saying “if you need”!

The whole exercise was to heighten our awareness of cultural inclusivity and the fact that in Australia we want “everyone to belong”! Our sport of netball aims to do this in all aspects of our game from grass roots right to the top!

This past week in Round 3 of the ANZ Championship saw the Adelaide Thunderbirds under the leadership of Jane Woodlands-Thompson break the record for consecutive wins with another nail-biting finish and victory over the NSW Swifts.

This record is remarkable in itself but in the context of this most competitive of world domestic sporting leagues it is truly special.

The fact that Jane has led the Franchise for its entire ANZ history is also a testament to her ability as a coach and her expectation of high performance standards. It is all about the system underneath as well as the performance of the team and the staff.

Congratulations Jane and the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Netball South Australia. Added to this was South Australia winning the 21 and Under National Championship in Adelaide.

The new 21 and Under National Squad has many familiar faces in the mix with ANZ Championship players among the 22 named. Maddy Proud (winner of the MVP at the 21’s Nationals), Jo Weston and Courtney Bruce to name a few, showing the future on display!

Harmony Round will take place in Sydney and Melbourne this weekend and both matches will be hotly contested as the Melbourne Vixens take on the undefeated BOP Magic coached by Julie Fitzgerald the previous Diamonds Assistant Coach, and the NSW Swifts take on the Queensland Firebirds.

All Australian teams will be fighting for a win this weekend with four wins possible!

Go Aussies, Go Diamonds!