2017 Marie Little OAM Shield


New South Wales wins the 2017 Marie Little OAM Shield

New South Wales has taken out the gold medal at Netball Australia’s tournament for women with an intellectual disability, the Marie Little OAM Shield, which was held at the State Netball Centre in Perth this weekend.

Undefeated for the whole tournament, only drawing with South Australia earlier today, a competitive gold medal match saw New South Wales retain the shield, defeating South Australia 11-10.

Captain Melissa Gallagher was ecstatic with her team’s win.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I’m proud of the girls today, they did really well.”

On the idea of the Marie Little OAM Shield, Gallagher was thankful to be a part of the event.

“It means the world to me,” said Gallagher.

“It gives people with disabilities the opportunity to have a go. Everyone is equal on the court. We just try hard and we want to represent our state.”

Coach Jenny O’Keeffe was proud of her team.

“The idea for us was to walk away knowing that we had done absolutely everything that we could and we were happy with how we played.

“To win it was an absolute bonus.”

“The whole vibe has been incredible and I think with every year, it just gets greater and greater, especially with new teams coming in.”

Queensland’s Nicole Skerman was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Western Australia’s Shakira Jamieson received the Naomi Perry Spirit of Netball Award, recognising her sportsmanship across the three days, named in honour of a former Western Australian player who passed away last year.

The three days of competition saw teams from six states and territories participate, with South Australia taking out the silver medal, Victoria the bronze and Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia coming in fourth, fifth and sixth.

The event pays tribute to Marie Little OAM, the founder of Sport Inclusion Australia (formerly known as AUSRAPID) who dedicated her working life to improving the lives of people with an intellectual disability, using the medium of sport.

Robyn Smith, CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia, believes the event honours the late Marie Little OAM perfectly.

“The Marie Little OAM Shield has just improved out of sight since its origin.

“Each year it’s got bigger and better and now we see six teams contesting and being really competitive.

“The Marie Little OAM Shield encapsulates the spirit of sport and sportsmanship and we learn a lot of lessons.

“I feel that if we could bottle up all this humanity and sportsmanship, we’d all be better off.”

The 2017 Marie Little OAM Shield would not be possible without the support of Netball Australia’s Community Inclusion and Diversity Partner, Australia Post and host member organisation, Netball Western Australia.


Round one

The skills were on show from the first whistle of the 2017 Marie Little OAM Shield.

New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria had convincing wins, showing that we’ll be seeing some tough competition across the next three days.

Reigning champions, New South Wales gelled well as a team in a face paced game, defeating Northern Territory 21 v 1. The loss didn’t dampen Northern Territory’s spirits who have taken to the court today in their first ever Marie Little OAM Shield.

NSW coach Jenny O’Keeffe was pleased with her team’s win.

“Our pre-season has been a little disjointed so it was nice to see them do as well as they did.”

O’Keeffe credited Northern Territory for their performance in their first appearance at the MLS.

“We’ve all been the beginners in this and I’m looking forward to seeing them enjoy it and develop as the weekend goes on.”

On the show court, South Australia proved too good for Western Australia, defeating the home side 31 to 2.

Victoria proved their out to play, defeating Queensland 16 to 4.

Round two

Day one finished with some great games as the girls settled in to the competition.

South Australia made it two from two, coming out strong to defeat Queensland 20-2.

Coach Trish Crockford was pleased to get the first couple of wins on the board.

“It’s good that we’ve been able to get all the girls out there, get all their nerves out of the way.”

Having just fallen short last year as silver medalists, the Rubies have their eyes on the prize.

“These girls train hard, they take it seriously. We came runners up last year so of course we want to win gold; we’re in it to win it,” said Crockford.

Co-captain Isabella Ivancic-Holland was ecstatic with her team’s second win in as many games.

“I’m so happy we got the result that we wanted. I’m so proud of our team.”

“Credit to Queensland, they used their turnovers quite well. It was a good, physical game,” said Ivancic-Holland.

New South Wales continue to boost their percentage, defeating Western Australia 37-0.

Victoria also continued their dominance with a 16-2 win over Northern Territory.

Round three

Day two saw another level of excitement at the State Netball Centre with every team well rested and ready for a massive day of competition.

Victoria suffered their first loss for the tournament, going down to South Australia 4-18.

Victorian coach Janet Parker was proud of her team considering the strength of the South Australia side.

“We thought we’d have a really good crack against South Australia, unfortunately they were too strong. But the girls are feeling really good and really positive.”

In the spirit of the Marie Little OAM Shield, Parker is pleased to have the team here enjoying the weekend.

“We’re here for fun. If we lose, we still need to achieve our goals.”

In her first Marie Little OAM Shield, Annie Picak is embracing the experience.

“I’m really enjoying it all. Netball makes me feel really happy and really excited. I get to meet new people and learn new tricks of netball, it’s a passion.”

Western Australia recorded their first ever win for the Marie Little OAM Shield in front of a massive home crowd, defeating Northern Territory 7-3.

New South Wales continued their streak, defeating Queensland 28-1.

Round four

In their first ever national championship, Northern Territory put up a great fight against one of the favourites to win, South Australia.

Despite going down 18-3, captain Naomi Alliston was all smiles – happy to have her team representing their state.

“The girls are very lovely, I’m making so many new friends from other states.”

“Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces, makes me so happy, it’s really good.”

Northern Territory coach, Chantelle Ayres is proud of the way her side is developing across the tournament.

“I’ve seen them improve from day one magnificently. The team spirit, the actual ability has increased by far.

“There are no words for it. They’re all enjoying it and having a great time.”

“All the hard work they’ve done at training, then to see them out on court is amazing. They’re putting it altogether, they’re picking up on what the other teams are doing and then going out there and making it difficult for the others.”

It was a close game on the show court, with Queensland recording their first win, defeating Western Australia 13-7.

Victoria kept tight hold of New South Wales, however went down to the top side, 6-12.

Round five

The competition is heating up with round five seeing the top two teams, New South Wales and South Australia, going head to head. It was New South Wales who took the chocolates, 12-8.

It was a tough battle on court three with Northern Territory taking the lead at half time. In a courageous comeback, Queensland were able find their feet and take the win, 9-5.

Coach Merrin McCulloch thought the game really showed what this tournament is all about.

“I made sure we were playing all our players who hadn’t had much of a run and played in the spirit of the tournament. That was a beautiful game, that’s what it should look like.”

“They’ve had a few tough games against the bigger states but it was good to come out today and play against WA and NT – it was even competition so it lifted their spirits.”

Queensland shooter, Emma Mangan is representing Queensland for the first time, after having payed for Victoria in previous years.

“It’s been great working together, I’m really enjoying part of this team.”

Western Australia put up a great effort but unfortunately went down to Victoria 21-0.

Round six

A 20-2 loss for Western Australia against South Australia hasn’t dampened their spirits, with the home team enjoying every minute of this competition.

Coach Jamie-Leigh Strickland said the girls are taking it all in.

“It’s been a great learning experience for them. A lot of them aren’t used to playing game in, game out so it’s an endurance test for some of them too.

“They’re having a great time.”

Vice captain Lily Rogers is embracing everything this weekend, in her first ever Marie Little OAM Shield.

“I’m loving it, it’s so good. It’s a bit tiring but I’m getting there.”

“Netball is great for me, it’s healthy and lets me make friends.”

New South Wales continue to prove they’re the ones to watch this weekend, defeating Northern Territory 19-2.

A competitive Victoria were able to keep Queensland to only one goal, winning 13-1.

Round seven

New South Wales continue their dominance over the competition, defeating the home side, Western Australia 27-1.

NSW captain Melissa Gallagher is impressed with her team’s success so far.

“We’re playing really well as a team and we’re giving other states a go. It’s been really great.”

Gallagher is so grateful for the opportunity to play in the Marie Little OAM Shield.

“It means the world to me. It shows that people with a disability can actually play sport.”

“Everyone is equal and is able to go out there and have fun.”

Queensland kept a tight hold of South Australia, however went down to the Rubies 11-18.

Northern Territory put up a great fight against Victoria, however it was the Vics who won 14-3.

Round eight

It was a long day two for the players, taking to the court six times.

In a tough battle between second and third, South Australia managed to just scrape the win ahead of Victoria, winning 14-12.

SA co-captain, Ash Hartnett said the girls were starting to feel the pinch of a weekend-long tournament.

“We’ve been pretty good. We’re a bit tired, but I’m trying to lift the team up a bit and keep going and lift our heads up. I’m encouraging them to be happy.”

Hartnett spoke on the enjoyment of an event like this.

“It means a lot. I love playing with all these girls and against all the other teams. All the other teams are lovely and I’m meeting new friends. I love netball.”

“I think I’m going to have a good night’s sleep and feel pumped in the morning ready for finals.”

It was a heart breaking finish to the Western Australia and Northern Territory game with WA’s Jade Franz going down with an injury, forcing the game to finish early.

Western Australia took the win 4-2.

New South Wales head into the final day undefeated, beating Queensland 26-1.

Round nine

The final day of competition is here and all teams are switched on, ready to make the final day count.

Show court saw a competitive game between Queensland and Western Australia with the visiting side claiming the win, 15-6.

Queensland’s Carla Nitz said it’s been a tough three days but is loving every moment.

“We’ve won some games, and lost some but we’re all pretty excited to be here.”

“I’m  so excited to be in WA, on the other side of the country. And to put on the Queensland dress really means a lot to me.”

Victoria put up a tough fight against the top team, NSW, going down 14-9.

Victoria’s Loretta Devlin-Smith was excited to be in Perth representing her state.

“We’ve won a couple and lost a couple, there’s a good mood around the team.”

“I’m so proud to put on the big V.”

An impressive Northern Territory showed their improvement over the last few days, keeping South Australia to 12 goals, going down 4-12.

Round ten

We couldn’t have scripted a better final round of the Marie Little OAM Shield!

Northern Territory claimed their first win of the tournament, defeating Queensland 7-5. A must watch video is on our Facebook page now – click here to watch.

In a preview of the gold medal match, South Australia drew with New South Wales, 12-all.

Victoria finished on a high, defeating Western Australia 26-0.