The NSW Marie Little OAM Shield squad have had the guidance of the Inner Western Suburbs Netball Association in preparation for this weekend’s annual tournament in Western Australia.
The Marie Little OAM Shield is the National Netball Championships for women with an intellectual disability and this year will be in Perth for the first time with the support of Netball Australia’s national community inclusion partner, Australia Post.
The squad have trained with players from Inner West’s Division 4 Metro League team throughout the year.
NSW Head Coach Jenny O’Keeffe said that once the girls step on the court they aren’t treated any different to the other players.
“When the girls train with the Inner West girls the bar is automatically set higher and we have seen that when we raise the bar higher, the girls rise to the occasion” she said.
“The girls really motivate each other in a way that we as coaches are unable to do. They are able to show them one on one and mid-action how to react to each play and that essentially builds the confidence with the MLS girls.”
O’Keeffe also stated that since the idea of mixed training came to light the girls have become each other’s biggest supporters.
“Since the team training started, we have seen the girls support each other and I know that Inner West girls will be supporting our NSW Marie Little Shield team all the way over in Perth from here.”
Netball is proud to be a sport for people of all abilities and supports the consistent development of those with disabilities year in year out.
The Marie Little Shield was named after disability netball pioneer, Marie Little OAM, and is now in its fifth year and provides women with an intellectual disability the chance to compete and represent their state at a national level.
Netball Australia is committed to providing players with disabilities with opportunities to play netball. For competitions and specific programs for players with disabilities in your area, get in touch with your State/Territory netball inclusion contact.
Australia Post One Netball is Netball Australia’s national diversity and inclusion program. To meet the One Netball Ambassadors and learn how your Club or Association can create a more inclusive environment for all, go to onenetball.org.au
Watch the full NetballNSWTV interview with Head Coach Jenny O’Keeffe below: