The 2013 Netball NSW State Dinner is just weeks away and Netball NSW is taking the opportunity to revisit some of our favourite memories of the Anne Clark Centre.

A recent article on the Anne Clark Centre’s Foundation Stone Anniversary prompted Kaye Sweeney from Tamworth to post a great message on the Netball NSW Facebook page which caught our attention;

“I still have my Netball NSW ‘Help Build Me’ t-shirt which [was] sold to raise money for the building.  I also played in the 1983 State Championships which you have detailed in your story.  The ACC [is an] old special place in every [netballers] heart and I am no exception.  Can’t wait to attend the November dinner and celebrations; keep up the good work.”

We thought it would be a great idea to see what else she remembers from her Anne Clark Centre days!

Kaye Sweeney has been around netball her whole life.  Beginning as a young girl playing for her school and Clubs, Kaye represented Tamworth Netball Association throughout the 1980s at State Age and State Championships, as well as some State League games.

Kaye says some of the best memories of her playing days at the Anne Clark Centre were coming up against New South Wales and Australian players, such as Anne Sargeant.

“Back in those days the NSW and Australian players used to come back to their Associations to play State Championships.  Associations like Manly-Warringah, Sutherland Shire and Randwick would have an influx of experienced players and the crowds would just cram into the Anne Clark Centre to watch them in action,” Kaye said.

“I remember coming up against Annie Sargeant as I was a defender in my playing days.  Most the time you just ended up chatting to your opponent, it was pretty fun and social.”

After not having visited for a number of years, Kaye was able to attend the 2013 State Age Championships at Parramatta Auburn Netball Association, and was amazed at the transformation of the Anne Clark Centre.

“I hadn’t been down for a while and it looked so different, it was amazing.  I remember playing at the centre in its original form, visiting after the extensions during the 1990s, and now with the new courts laid at Parramatta Auburn – it’s definitely grown,” Kaye said.

Along with playing, Kaye also found time to coach Tamworth representative teams and sit on their Executive Board.  It was during her role as Secretary as a young 19 year-old she first met Anne Clark BEM.

“Our Association President asked if I wanted to come to Sydney to attend the meeting – they thought it would be good if I come along and experience it.  That’s the first time I met Anne.  She was a lovely lady, always had time for people and even remembered me the next time I saw her,” Kaye explained.

“Anne actually came up to Tamworth one year with Neita Matthews to conduct a clinic for our local umpires.  Neita did the whole session in high heels as only Neita could!”

While clearly holding special memories of the Anne Clark Centre, Kaye says she is “really excited” about the next step in NSW netball’s history; moving to Netball Central.

“It’s sad to leave the Anne Clark Centre but we have so many fantastic memories of the centre and of ‘Little Annie’ herself to take to Netball Central.  I’m excited for the next generation of players to make their own memories at the new centre, just as I have made at Anne Clark,” Kaye said.

2013 Netball NSW State Dinner
Saturday 2 November
Anne Clark Centre – Church St, Lidcombe

Check out the 2012 Netball NSW State Dinner photo album on facebook to get a taste of Netball NSW’s night of nights!

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