Netball mourns passing of trailblazer for women’s sport

_DMC2770LNetball Australia is saddened to learn of the passing of former Australian captain and Hall of Fame inductee Myrtle Bayliss (nee Craddock) this week.

Bayliss died in Melbourne on Wednesday morning at the age of 94. Bayliss was a trailblazer for women’s sport in Australia, being the first athlete to represent her country in two sports – netball and cricket.

As a cricketer, she played six Tests for Australia between 1948 and 1951 and she represented her country in 10 international netball Tests.

A notable goal attack, Bayliss captained Australia in 1953 and was a member of the country’s first ever international tour in 1948 (pictured below, Bayliss is second from the right), where her Test debut in Dunedin was the second ever international trans-Tasman match played.

1948 Australian Netball TeamBayliss was named in Netball Victoria’s Team of the Century in 2000 and inducted into Netball Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

Netball Australia president Noeleen Dix said it was a significant achievement for Bayliss to be chosen to represent her country in two different sports in the same year.

“It was far more difficult for young women to play sport and represent their country back in her day so Myrtle was certainly a trailblazer,” Dix said.

_DMC2670L“We’re proud that she remained engaged with netball and the netball family over the years. Her dedication to netball is outstanding.

“We were thrilled that she was able to attend the Netball Australia awards dinner in 2012 to accept her induction into the Hall Of Fame and everyone who was there that night was impressed and admired Myrtle for what she’d achieved in her life.”

Netball Australia’s thoughts and best wishes are with Les, children Douglas and Rosemary and her extended family and friends.