Thanks to those that serve our great game

BendigoClinic_18102014_092First of all, on International Volunteers Day, can I say a big thank you to everyone that volunteers their time to our sport as great as it is.

We salute you all and appreciate the time and effort you all contribute to keep the game of netball strong and healthy right around our great big country.

The Diamonds squad assembled in Canberra at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence last week for a preparation camp which is the starting point of our Netball World Cup campaign for next year.

Every squad member arrived in Canberra in tip-top shape and ready for the challenges of the year ahead.

Like last year, we’ve given our campaign a special theme and it’s `Back to Back’ – as we look to win the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal and world title in succession for the first time in 16 years.

There were many activities planned over the six-day camp to challenge our athletes to be uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. But the competitive juices of the squad were on display for everyone to see.

One of the challenges involved producing a two-minute movie – copying a popular movie script – to display the themes of the camp.

It was said that the quality of the movies were so high the Cannes Film Festival should take note of some serious movie-making talent.

The highlight at the end of the week was the Australian Netball Awards which enabled the athletes, staff, supporters and sponsors to dress in their finest.

2014 Australian Netball AwardsIt was a wonderful night of celebration for all that the 2014 brought the Australian Netball family, not to mention the great success the Diamonds have enjoyed.

To listen to our newest Hall of Fame inductee Pat McCarthy, who captained Australia’s first ever tour of England back in 1956, was inspiring for everyone who was there.

Certainly the current Diamonds were all fascinated with the way Pat’s team prepared for their tour on the deck of an ocean liner for six weeks.

2014 Australian Netball AwardsOf course this year’s winner of the Liz Ellis Diamond, Madi Robinson, was a very worthy recipient after a consistent season both in the ANZ Championship for the Melbourne Vixens and the Diamonds’ international campaign.

I know that Madi was very honoured to receive the accolade when you consider the other contenders in Laura Geitz, Julie Corletto, Natalie Medhurst and Caitlin Bassett.

As we know, netball is very much about TEAM. From the Diamonds perspective, the TEAM behind the TEAM have all been a huge part of our success of 2014. We thank everyone that has supported us in our quest to be the world’s No.1 netball side, including our loyal fans, for your unwavering belief.

The task ahead is a massive one – to deliver the best ever Netball World Cup in historyin Sydney next August.

The Diamonds also want to retain the world title we won in Singapore four years ago.

Both these goals will certainly keep all the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 staff, Netball Australia staff and the Diamonds squad and staff focussed on raising the bar in all areas.

Go Diamonds!