By: Lisa Alexander, Australian Diamonds coach
It’s very hard to accurately put into words the emotion and feeling around the Australian netball team’s achievement of winning the Gold Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
It was a goal that we set ourselves a long time ago and we’ve worked hard over the journey to be in a position to reclaim that Gold Medal, so to have achieved that on Sunday afternoon in Glasgow was certainly a satisfying accomplishment.
But as a team, we are far from finished. We are still striving towards our mission of being the world’s best High Performance program.
There are so many people to thank who helped the team achieve the success we did in Glasgow. The team was extremely well supported by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association through Perry Crosthwaite (CEO), chef de mission Steve Moneghetti and team manager Dianne Gallagher.
We were provided with all the resources we needed so thank you to the AGCA and, of course, thank you to our principal partner the Australian Sports Commission.
The Australian netball team was also professionally managed and coached by a support team that was best going around! That includes the Diamonds staff, Netball Australia staff – led by CEO Kate Palmer – and all staff from our Member Organisations and Australian-based ANZ Championship franchises.
We have an extraordinary team behind the team who all played their role. This includes all Netball Australia Board members, led by president Noeleen Dix, and all State Board Members around our country!
To the families and friends who travelled to Scotland to support us over the campaign, we salute you for making the effort as you all won gold with us!
And finally to all of the one million netballers around our beautiful, fair dinkum, positive and generous country, this is your gold medal as well!
All of our loyal, passionate Diamonds fans share with the team this special moment of joy and you would be proud of how gracious the team was in victory!
Even the Games volunteers were barracking for us such was the behavior of the team towards the people who put on the event. Our team were always well-mannered and embraced the atmosphere of the Games.
I want to once again pay tribute to the contribution made to our success by my vice-captain Bianca Chatfield, who announced her international retirement in the days after our Gold Medal triumph.
I have known Bianca since she was a teenager and had the privilege to coach her at both domestic and international level and, while we will miss her leadership and tenacity in our defensive end wearing the green and gold, I am really pleased that she’s made the decision to go out on the high note of winning a gold medal.
I look forward to watching her lead the Melbourne Vixens in their ANZ Championship title defence next season.
Now, as we look towards the our upcoming International Test Series against New Zealand and England in October, I ask our fans to once again come and support us, wear your green and gold and cheer as loudly as you did from your lounge rooms over the past fortnight.
Take someone along to one of our games in Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra who has not seen an international Test match live before. We will then have more converts to our great game!
It will be a most interesting Test Series as the Silver Ferns seek victory and England seek to keep climbing the ladder of success.
Then we are less than 12 months away from the most significant time in Australian Netball’s history.
The 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.
This will be our time to shine and make this sport the best in the world! We are determined to defend our crown as world champions and make sure our sport’s two most coveted trophies remain down under for a few more years yet!
Once again, thank you all for your support, well wishes and undying enthusiasm for this great game and our wonderful athletes.