Sun shines for Oceania opener

The dust has settled with teams packing up their belongings following the opening day’s play of the 2014 Oceania Netball Cup.

View a photo album of the event on facebook

It was a glorious sunny day for the event, with a record 42 teams descending on the Anne Clark Centre for this year’s tournament. Players, coaches, umpires and managers had travelled from all over the State, as well as our neighbours the Australian Capital Territory… we even saw a team fly in from Tonga!

One of the visitors was Radford College who first participated in the laid-back tournament last year. Organiser and teacher Bernie Ledger decided to bring two teams to this year’s competition, saying after such a positive experience in 2013 she wanted to share it with more students.

“Last year we brought one team up from Canberra and this year decided to bring two teams – an Under 13 side and Under 15 [team],” Ledger said.

“I guess because I’m [of] Pacific Islander descent [I felt] it’s a way of giving back to the New South Wales community and competing in an event that I’m quite passionate about, as are the rest of the girls that I’m here with.”

With the opening day under their belts, Ledger said everyone was having a brilliant time at this year’s tournament.

“So far so good! I’ve still got all of my players which is fantastic. It is a different style of play in NSW [compared] to Canberra, but it’s a great experience and the girls are absolutely loving it.”

The Oceania Netball Cup first began in 2012; an idea from NSW Swifts legend Mo’onia Gerrard to hold a casual netball carnival – with a strictly Polynesian flavour! – giving young girls a chance to have fun with their friends.

Since then this laid-back tournament has grown in size and popularity, with 71% more teams participating in 2014 compared to its inaugural year.

The teams will rest up and be back tomorrow for the final day of play, and there will be plenty of fun games, surprise visitors, and island vibes waiting their return!

See you tomorrow friends.