Smith and Watson honoured on Australia Day

Netball NSW would like to congratulate both Kevin Smith and Rodney Watson who have been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to netball in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List.

“On behalf of Netball NSW and those we represent, I would like to congratulate both Kevin and Rodney on these thoroughly deserved accolades and thank them for their dedication to our sport over a long period of time,” said Netball NSW President Wendy Archer AM.

Smith received the honour for his service to netball as an umpire, coach and administrator spanning five decades.

A pillar of netball in the Hunter region, Smith was the co-founder of Lakeside Netball Association in 1961 and was an Executive Member from 1961-1984, before returning in 2010 where he held the position of Treasurer in 2011.

From 1985 – 2010, Smith was involved with Newcastle Netball Association becoming Treasurer in 1997 until 2000, and for his tireless work was made a Life Member in 2009. He was also a Council Delegate for Muswellbrook Netball Association from 1979 – 1999.

In 1992, Smith became the first male umpire in NSW to receive an “AA” badge plus coached and badged umpires for Netball NSW from 1979 until 2010. Kevin is still involved in coaching and mentoring umpires in the Hunter Region.

For his service to netball in NSW, Smith was the recipient of the prestigious Anne Clark Service Award in 2009.

“As a fellow umpire, I have such admiration for what Kevin has not only achieved in his own right but the hundreds of umpires across the State that he has coached and mentored over thirty plus years,” Wendy Archer said when praising Smith’s contribution.

“Kevin’s commitment to the growth of netball, particularly throughout the Hunter Region, is only matched by his passion for the Sport. He is a valued member of our community and this recognition is richly deserved.”

Netball NSW Board Member Rodney Watson received his OAM for service to netball through administrative roles.

At a local level, Watson has been integral to the growth of netball in the Penrith Region, having started his contribution as President of St Clair Netball Club in 1992 until becoming President of Penrith District Netball Association in 1994; a position he held until 2012.

Watson has been a Netball NSW Board Member since 2003, making a significant contribution across many areas of the State’s governing body, including being a State Delegate from 2003 – 2010.

For his vast contribution to netball in Western Sydney, Watson was made a Life Member of both Penrith District Netball Association in 2002 and St Clair Netball Club 2003. He was also the recipient of the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

“This honour is wonderful acknowledgement for the significant contribution Rodney has given to the sport of netball in Western Sydney and indeed across the State,” said Wendy Archer.

“The growth of the Penrith District Netball Association and its affiliated Clubs is testament to the leadership of Rodney during his time as President, and he brings this same commitment to the Board of Directors at Netball NSW.”

On behalf of everyone associated with the sport of netball, past and present, Netball NSW would like to congratulate both Kevin Smith OAM and Rodney Watson OAM on their outstanding achievement.