Girls Ready for more netball

Netball NSW continues to celebrate Social Inclusion Week by shining a spotlight on some of the work that is being done in our community to help spread our love of netball.

Social Inclusion Week is being celebrated from Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 November; an initiative all about connecting local communities, workmates, family and friends in order to build and strengthen relationships and networks, addressing isolation and exclusion by supporting people who may be unable to help themselves.

Today we look at some of the work the Netball NSW Sport Development team are doing with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities, especially empowering young girls to be active and healthy.

Netball NSW combined with the Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) to introduce a school program at Granville South Creative and Performance Arts High School, which included fortnightly practical and theoretical sessions.

The program, nicknamed Girl Ready, focussed on female students in Year 9 and Year 10 who were at risk of disengaging from education, with the objective to support personal and physical development through group work and intensive life skills workshops.

The participants were introduced to netball through a variety of skills and drills, as well as modified games, throughout the program learning life skills that go hand-in-hand with team sport – leadership, respect, team work and communication.

Netball NSW Community Engagement Manager Kristy Guthrie said the organisation encountered some limitations at first – whether it be naivety on the rules or religious garments – but were able to work with the community in order to overcome them.

“The school program coordinator reported a really positive change in the participants’ attitudes, particularly their attitude towards school work and attending class.  Many of the students are also volunteering to help organise school events or work experience, so are demonstrating some of those group cooperation skills they have learnt over the past few months,” Guthrie said.

“We often see the physical effects that playing netball can bring, with the benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle.  But sometimes it’s the other skills that you can learn in a sport environment that have a subtle effect, such as with the Girl Ready participants.  Many of the students have shown improvements in their self-esteem and self-awareness, showing a desire to develop new skills, and that’s what really makes me proud.

“Fantastically, a number of the students have shown an interest in continuing to play netball at their local Association, which is wonderful to hear.  I’d like to congratulate Granville South, particularly to the students involved, on the Girl Ready program,” Guthrie concluded.

After the success of the pilot Girl Ready program, Netball NSW is hoping to further implement the program into other schools in 2015 and beyond, as well as engage with local Clubs and Associations.

For more information on Girl Ready or other Netball NSW CaLD Programs, please contact the Sports Development team on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours or email [email protected].