Back in 2015 when the idea of an Australian-only League was first tabled by Netball Australia, Netball NSW had a vision: to bring more elite netball to our State.
It would be a huge undertaking and when the journey began there were a lot more questions than answers. Could NSW sustain two professional franchises? Was there a big enough appetite in the community? What would the new team look like?
Professional sport is not an easy game. Every team, no matter the code, has its challenges but in the end Netball NSW felt it was our responsibility to grasp this opportunity on behalf of our 116,000 registered members.
Interest in NSW netball is at an all-time high; Netball NSW has seen record registration numbers at grassroots level, as well as a strong, healthy representation at an elite level.
In terms of appetite, we knew NSW was hungry for more – the question was how best to satisfy our fans?
As the organisation began planning the steps to introduce a new elite netball team to the State, and after moving into Sydney Olympic Park, it made sense to approach our new neighbours; the GIANTS.
When people ask why Netball NSW decided to form a strategic alliance with the GIANTS, it is important to note that this isn’t the first time the organisation has entered into a partnership with an AFL club.
Netball NSW didn’t have to look far for a successful model to base this alliance on. The NSW Swifts have had a long-standing and fruitful relationship with an AFL side for more than a decade; therefore our alliance with the GIANTS is not wholly uncharted territory.
But why partner with the GIANTS at all? In short it comes down to those wonderful words we find synonymous with sport – culture and tribalism.
Netball NSW and the GIANTS share many similar values and cultural beliefs. We believe in an inclusive, family environment; we believe sport should be available to everyone, from all backgrounds and beliefs; we believe we can offer the fans the opportunity to really engage in a long-standing cross-town rivalry. Living next door to each other in Sydney Olympic Park was just icing on the cake.
Along with our shared values and beliefs, both sporting bodies see great value in engaging with our communities in the Australian Capital Territory. The GIANTS are already committed to playing games out of our country’s capital, and Netball NSW has long been looking for ways to work with our neighbours, Netball ACT, and its community.
Introducing a new elite team with direct ties to the Australian Capital Territory seems a natural fit.
So with both Netball NSW and the GIANTS sharing values and beliefs, it was only natural that the two organisations would look to grow this burgeoning relationship to best service those most important to us; our fans.
Netball NSW – along with the GIANTS – understands that our Members and fans are the backbone of our sport. That is why we are committed to ensuring that our community are able to share in the GIANTS Netball journey.
Netball is the premier female sport in Australia and Netball NSW is delighted to be part of a significant growth period of the game.
Netball NSW has a huge investment in this new league, and we are very proud to play a big role in the next evolution of Australian netball.
Join us for the journey at the start of Season 2017.