NetFest regulars prepare for Capital Punishment

Netfest 2013 1In a fortnight’s time thousands of netballers from across Australia and New Zealand will be on the Gold Coast for the fourth annual NetFest.

For some, it will be their first time competing in Netball Australia’s mass participation event. For returning teams like Canberra’s Capital Punishment, it’s the social aspect of the weekend that makes them want to keep coming back year after year.

Capital Punishment is among a record number of teams to have entered this year’s NetFest which begins on 16 October with the celebrity match and official opening ceremony on the beach at Surfers Paradise and runs through until 19 October.

Capital Punishment team member Lauren Smith said they first competed at NetFest in 2012 and always look forward to returning every year.

“We’ve gone from scrapping for players in the first year to people fighting to be on the team,” Smith joked.

Netfest 2013 3“We just have a really good time there on the Gold Coast and, each year we’ve extended the trip a few days. This year a few of us are going up a week before (the event starts).

“It’s just a lot of fun. (It’s) people that love netball. It’s not like your serious Saturday competition – it’s nice to win a few games though – but it’s the social aspect to the event that keeps up going back. We’ve made some close friendships the last couple of years.”

Smith said the team plays in the outdoor ladies competition and this year will be fitted out in striking new uniforms.

The players in the team all play in the local Canberra competition but Smith said NetFest gives them an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company.

“We meet once or twice a week for an hour to play netball but it’s good to get together on a social level,” she said.

The on-court action will be supported by a program of social events overseen by NetFest Ambassadors Liz Ellis and Sharelle McMahon – who will both play in the celebrity beach netball match – and the NetFest Saturday night party.

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NetFest is presented by Netball Australia and proudly supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism & Events Queensland.