Vics’ finest presented with past players pendants

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While the current day stars were preparing to do battle at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena, a group of past greats were being lauded for their contributions to Australia’s rich netball history.

Ten former Australian players from many different eras were presented with their Australian Netball Diamond Player Pendant at a special function before the Melbourne Vixens-NSW Swifts’ ANZ Championship clash on Sunday.

Proud family were on hand to watch the pendants presented by Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander and new Netball Australia chair Anne-Marie Corboy.

The group are all former Victorian players or now based in the state.

It’s the part of Netball Australia’s commitment to recognise and acknowledge every athlete to have represented the country at international level and follows on from a similar ceremony in Perth last month.

The group included one of Australia’s oldest living players in Pat McCarthy (nee Doherty), who despite playing only four Tests is credited for revolutionising the game style of centre court players.

McCarthy, pictured right and who was inducted into the Australian Netball Hall of Fame in 2014, captained her country on its maiden tour of England in 1956.

Others to receive pendants were;

  • Dorothy Close (3 Tests, 1960);
  • Heather Chibnall (nee McLean, 6 Tests);
  • vice-captain of Australia’s 1971 world championship-winning side Noela Olsen (nee Routley, 9 Tests);
  • Anne Gibson (nee Walker, 4 Tests);
  • Pam Redmond (29 Tests);
  • Kerrie Baird (4 Tests);
  • Yvonne Hale (10 Tests);
  • Chris Harris (9 Tests); and
  • Jennie Fallet (nee Longhurst, 16 Tests)

Redmond was a member of two triumphant Australian Netball World Cup sides in 1975 (New Zealand) and 1979 (Trinidad & Tobago), Gibson was also part of the 1971 team, Hale played in the 1979 world titles and Harris was a member of the team that won the world crown in 1983 in Singapore.

“It’s wonderful to be able to recognise these past champions for their roles in the success Australian netball has achieved on the world stage – and also to preserve their legacy for future generations,” Alexander said.