Time is running out to enter a team for Netball Australia’s third annual NetFest event, to be held on the Gold Coast from 17 to 20 October 2013.


Over 170 teams from around Australia and New Zealand have already signed up, far exceeding last year’s then record 134 teams.

There are still limited spots available in both the outdoor and beach netball tournaments, but you’ll need to be fast with entries closing at 5pm on Friday 30 August.

One team from Queensland had such a great time at last year’s event that, even though a couple of team members are about to give birth, they’ve all committed to returning and having fun with their friends.

Top Shots team captain Vanessa Stanbridge faced a dilemma when two members of her 2012 line-up – Sinead Findlay and Kim Harris – fell pregnant a few months after playing NetFest.

In spite of being due to give birth within the next couple of weeks, both have told Vanessa they intend to be part of the action again this year.

“We’ve all played together for a long time on a Wednesday night and they were devastated when they couldn’t keep playing (because they were pregnant),” she said.

“But they’re keen to get back out and playing a sport that they love.”

In fact the team will require plenty of baby sitters as Hayley Boys, making her debut with Top Shots this year, gave birth to a little boy earlier this month.

“They’ve kept fit throughout their pregnancies,” Vanessa said. “I’d say we’ll be rotating on baby duties over the weekend.

“We’ll have that level of competiveness but knowing that everyone won’t be at the same level of fitness as others.

“As long as we enjoy it and have fun, that’s the main thing.”

Vanessa encourages netballers of all ages and abilities to come along and enjoy the sporting and social aspect of the four days.

“There’s many laughs to be had. We had beautiful weather last year so hopefully it’s a nice weekend for this time around,” she said.

The added bonus of being involved in NetFest 2013 is the opportunity to watch the Australian Diamonds take on the Malawi Queens in their final international Test match before the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The game is being played at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre at night on Saturday 19 October, with the NetFest Party being held at the same venue immediately after the match.  The perfect way to unwind with friends after a long day on the court!

Log onto the website or visit the Facebook page for everything you need to know about NetFest – don’t miss it!