A service to commemorate the life of longtime and much-loved netball servant Dorothy ‘Dot’ McHugh OAM will be held this Tuesday 15 May, after her passing last week.
Few people have had as profound an impact on netball as McHugh, who dedicated her life to the sport worldwide for more than 60 years.
Netball owes a great deal of gratitude to a woman who served the game so tirelessly and selflessly for so long.
Inducted into the Netball Australia Hall of Fame in 2010, McHugh’s netball journey began in the early 1940s as a player, until injury closed that chapter, however another quickly opened as she threw herself headlong into umpiring and the administrative side of the sport.
It was there that she found what was clearly her calling.
Rising quickly through the umpiring and administrative ranks, she earned her elite All Australian Umpires Award at the National Tournament in 1957, while at the same time serving as New South Wales’ delegate to Netball Australia.
It was a post she held for some 28 years, first taking on the role from 1954-59 and then returning to it from 1966-1989.
There was no role that McHugh wouldn’t take on for her sport.
She was Netball NSW’s vice president in 1953, its secretary from 1954-1960, insurance officer from 1961-62, treasurer in 1963 and umpires convenor in 1965 and 1968.
McHugh was most deserving of her Netball NSW Life Membership, which she was awarded in 1970, followed by a Netball Australia Service Award in 1974.
As netball grew, so did McHugh’s passion and commitment to helping to improve the game globally.
She represented Australia as its delegate at the International Federation of Netball Associations Councils at the World Tournaments in 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1987. At the 1987 tournament, she was appointed as the General Secretary of IFNA, a position she held until 1981.
In 1995 McHugh became the first NSW member to receive the prestigious IFNA Service Award.
McHugh’s funeral will be held at 10am on Tuesday 15 May at St Matthews Anglican Church, Sherwood Rd, Sherwood.
The thoughts of Netball Australia and the wider netball community are with her family and friends at this time.