$27million earmarked for netball

The Netball NSW Board is thrilled to see so many years of planning come to fruition with the announcement that a re-elected Keneally Government will invest $27 million to build a new state-of-the-art Netball Centre of Excellence at Sydney Olympic Park – the largest investment in netball in Australian history.

Premier Kristina Keneally and Minister for Sport Kevin Greene made the announcement at half-time of the NSW Swifts round three ANZ Championship game at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Sunday.

“This is the biggest investment in netball in Australian history,” Ms Keneally said.

“Our Netball Centre of Excellence will be the envy of netball organisations around the world.

“Thanks to a record number of junior players, the success of the NSW Swifts and legends like Liz Ellis, there is no disputing that NSW is the home of netball in Australia.

“This record investment is about keeping NSW on top when it comes to netball – as well as ensuring one of Australia’s leading sports has a world class facility in the Olympic Precinct.”

The new $27 million facility will include:

• Six new state-of-the-art timber sprung floor courts;

• An elite netball “show court” with retractable seating for 850 spectators;

• Headquarters for Netball NSW and merchandise shop;

• Multi-purpose meeting/function room for up to 150 people;

• Gymnasium and sports science facilities;

• Physiotherapy and recovery centre, player change rooms; and

• The NSW Netball Hall of Fame.

Netball NSW General Manager Carolyn Campbell said that the netball community is thrilled to see so many years of planning come to fruition.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for netball in NSW to continue to evolve and it is a vision that will see us through into the future. We are incredibly grateful for the recognition netball has received as the highest female participation sport in the country,” Campbell said.

“This announcement will allow us to continue to develop players, coaches and officials from the grassroots to the elite. It is very exciting. “

There are over 109,000 netballers in NSW taking to local netball courts each weekend.

NSW is also bidding to host the 2015 Netball World Championships and the investment will coincide with the bid.

Ms Keneally said Netball NSW had outgrown its current residence at the Anne Clark Centre in Lidcombe.

“We want Netball NSW to have the resources and facilities it needs to grow the sport,” Ms Keneally said.

“The Netball Centre of Excellence will be able to host a range of coaching and development courses, junior clinics and camps as well as providing a training base for state and national teams.”

The Netball Centre of Excellence is a key part of the NSW Government’s sport policy – an Active NSW.