They were on-court adversaries on the international stage for more than a decade and now Irene van Dyk and Liz Ellis are joining forces to become ambassadors for this year’s NetFest.
One of the world’s most famous netballers, van Dyk is looking forward to joining the party atmosphere that NetFest has become renowned for among the netball community in Australia and New Zealand between 8-11 October.
The star goal shooter, who’s played a world record 217 Test matches for South Africa and New Zealand, is the latest addition to NetFest’s star-studded ambassador panel that also includes Australian greats Ellis and Sharelle McMahon.
“I’ve heard so much about NetFest and how it’s such a fun and social environment for netballers so I decided this year I wanted to experience it for myself,” van Dyk said.
“I can’t wait to get across to the Gold Coast and catch up with people from around Australia and New Zealand who have the same passion for netball that I do.
“It’s a great event that Netball Australia has created and to see thousands of people coming together to enjoy each other’s company and play a few days of netball will be fantastic. I’m really keen to watch some of the beach action as well.
“I’m honoured to be asked to become an ambassador and can’t wait to spend time catching up with Liz and Sharelle sharing our stories with the crowds.”
A veteran of more than 100 ANZ Championship matches for New Zealand-based sides the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Central Pulse, van Dyk’s career CV also includes Commonwealth Games gold medals in 2006 and 2010 and a world championship (2003) for the Silver Ferns.
It will be Ellis’ fourth year involved at NetFest and said she always looks forward to the event’s arrival on the calendar.
“Every year it gets bigger and better with more players, more teams and more fun,” Ellis said.
“You can’t go past heading to the Gold Coast with your mates for a weekend. When you throw in a bit of netball and a lot of fun, it gets even better.
“Whether you love beach netball, seven-a-side netball or just hanging out with your friends and making new friends, there is something for everyone at NetFest.”
Team registrations for the 2015 events open on 10 May with a special `Early Bird’ discount offer. For more information about NetFest visit www.netfest.com.au.