Coaching pioneer Margaret Corbett OAM was elevated to Legend Status in the Netball NSW Hall of Fame on a night of celebration at the organisation’s annual State Dinner at the Campbelltown Catholic Club on Saturday night.
The Sutherland Shire great, a leading coach in Australia across the 1970s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s, was the toast of the state’s netball community, becoming only the second-ever person to be elevated to Legend status, alongside former Diamonds captain Anne Sargeant OAM.
A forward thinker when it came to netball, Corbett brought nine National Opens Titles to NSW from 1984-1992. This was NSW’s dominance of the Dunlop Golden Boot era – the Suncorp Super Netball of the day – and Corbett’s feats remain unmatched in Australian netball history.
Guiding and instructing her teams at every turn, she pioneered the art of coaching and paved the way for many of the players to go on and represent Australia.
The night was also a successful one for GIANTS Netball defender Kristiana Manu’a who held off stern competition from her teammates and NSW Swifts rivals to win the Marilyn Melhuish OAM Medal after being voted NSW’s Suncorp Super Netball player of the year.
Her award was one of eight presented on a night which celebrated another fantastic year for netball across NSW.
“2019 is a year that will live long in the memory of everyone involved in the sport,” Netball NSW President Louise Sullivan said in her welcome.
“That it marked the 90th Anniversary of Netball NSW made the achievements all the more special.
“Whether it was the NSW Swifts, under former player turned coach Briony Akle, defying the odds to claim the Suncorp Super Netball title, or the thousands of young and not so young coming together for the rebranded HART Junior and Senior State Titles, netball was always front and centre of the sporting landscape.
“There were many successes beyond these of course; our NSW 17s and 19s brought back silver from the National Netball Championships in Brisbane, while the Netball NSW Waratahs also won sliver after a thrilling Australian Netball League campaign.
“The NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball brought over 40,000 netball fans through the gates of Qudos Bank Arena for four blockbuster Super Netball extravaganzas, including a whopping 11,269 for the Round 8 Indigenous Round, which doubled as the second NSW Derby of the year.
“With more than 1,200 new coaches teaching netball across New South Wales, to the almost 600 new National C umpires making sure it all happens within the rules, it is also fantastic to see growth at our most important level, the grassroots.
“As we reflect on the past nine decades, and the humble origins of our organisation, the phrase “from little seeds great trees grow” is certainly relevant.”
2019 Netball NSW Award Recipients
Anne Clark BEM Service Awards: Colette Longley (Manly Warringah Netball Association), Geraldine Evry (Illawarra District Netball Association), Judith Sibbald (Penrith District Netball Association), Megan Kocsis (Eastwood Ryde Netball Association), Jo-Anne Perry (Ku-ring-gai Netball Association)
Marilyn Melhuish OAM Medal – Suncorp Super Netball Player of the Year: Kristiana Manu’a (GIANTS Netball)
Marj Groves AM Scholarship: Annie Miller (Manly Warringah Netball Association)
Nance Kenny OAM Medal – Premier League Player of the Year: Maddie Taylor (Central Coast Heart)
Lynn Quinn OAM Bench Official Award: Helen Andrews (St George District Netball Association)
Neita Matthews OAM Umpires Award: Tayla Favell (Baulkham Hills Shire Netball Association)
Margaret Corbett OAM Coaches Award: Mardi Aplin (Orange Netball Association)
Judy Dunbar Media Awards: Isaac McIntyre, Hunter Women’s Chronicle (Community Media Excellence), Adrian Arciuli, SBS (Best Feature), Wolter Peeters, Sydney Morning Herald (Best Photograph), Daniel Lane – Sydney Morning Herald (Best Overall Media Coverage).
Dot McHugh OAM Administrator Award: Patricia Joy Gillett OAM (Penrith District Netball Association)
2019 Hall of Fame Inductions: Margaret Corbett OAM (Sutherland Shire Netball Association) – elevated to Legend Status