Australia Post and Netball Australia have today announced the eight winners of the 2017 Australia Post One Netball Community Awards for their work in creating a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment through the game of netball.
Netball NSW would like to especially congratulate Blue Mountains Netball Association and Westside Netball Club (based in Coffs Harbour) for being included in the winner’s list, as well as Lauren Coelli from Albury Netball Association (a Victorian catchment Association, but proud New South Wales region nonetheless!)
Netball Australia CEO, Marne Fechner said: “The Australia Post One Netball Community Awards are designed to recognise those in our netball communities who create a safe, inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of age, background or ability.
“Looking at this year’s winners, there are some special people using the power of netball to contribute something positive to their local communities.”
Bec Bulley, Australia Post One Netball Ambassador and GIANTS Netball player, said the standard and quality of all nominations was very impressive.
“It was amazing to read the inspiring stories of individuals, Clubs and Associations. These are such amazing people doing extraordinary things to go out of their way to ensure that netball is for everyone. It’s so encouraging to see each year the growth in the number of inclusion champions who are breaking down barriers in the community through netball – connecting people in a shared interest, regardless of background or ability.”
Australia Post Chief Customer Officer and Acting Managing Director and Group CEO, Christine Corbett, said Australia Post is committed to contributing to a more inclusive Australia, and creating opportunities like these Awards to celebrate and shine a light on those who use the power of sport to build healthier and more harmonious communities.
“We congratulate all eight winners for the wonderful efforts and positive contributions to their local community. Organisations like these play a vital role in our society in helping to create a more inclusive and accepting Australia.”
As part of the prize, each winner will receive a visit from an Australia Post One Netball Ambassador to their club, a $1,000 Australia Post Load&Go Visa Prepaid Gift Card for their netball club and a netball signed by the 2017 Australian Diamonds team. Individual award recipients will also receive a $500 Australia Post Load&Go Visa Prepaid Gift Card for their personal use.
The winners of the 2017 Australia Post One Netball Community Awards include:
- Lauren Coelli, a member of Albury Netball Association (NSW/VIC)
- Blue Mountains Netball Association (NSW)
- Katherine Netball Association (NT)
- Robinvale Euston Football Netball Club, a member of Sunraysia Football and Netball Association (VIC)
- Southern Football Netball League, a member of Springvale & District Netball Association (VIC)
- Townsville City Netball Association (QLD)
- Westside Netball Club, a member of Coffs Harbour Netball Association (NSW)
- Wests Netball Club, a member of Alice Springs Netball Association (NT)
Wests Netball Club in the Northern Territory also won the Ambassadors’ Choice Award as voted for by the Australia Post One Netball Ambassadors and will receive an additional $1,000 Australia Post Load&Go Visa Prepaid Gift Card.
Australia Post is the Community Inclusion and Diversity Partner of Netball Australia and the upcoming 2017 Fast5 Netball World Series. Australia Post and Netball Australia have partnered to deliver the Australia Post One Netball Program (One Netball) since 2014. The program aims to engage Australia’s increasingly diverse communities with the sport of netball and the message that everyone, regardless of background or ability, is welcome.
For more information or to learn more about One Netball, visit www.onenetball.org.au.
Blue Mountains Netball Association
Opening their doors to people with a disability since 2010, Blue Mountains Netball Association has been fostering an inclusive culture through each level of their competitions. Facilitating access to netball for people with a range of intellectual and physical disabilities, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere is the top priority for Blue Mountains Netball Association.
Each club, coach and umpire assist by adjusting game play to enable people of varying physical and mental disabilities to participate by giving the players a “fair go”, remaining flexible on various competition rules. Club teams have embraced the players, creating a safe and fun place for all players to enjoy netball. The Sunbirds, a team made up of people with disabilities, are a true representation of Blue Mountains Netball Association’s inclusive efforts.
Competing in netball has aided in building confidence in the Sunbirds, not just as participants. In addition to playing in the regular season, many players are now undergoing coaching and umpiring courses, with five Sunbirds achieving their Foundation Coaching Course Accreditation. Two Sunbirds players now assist coaches for junior teams, where they have the opportunity to further develop their personal skills and netball knowledge, as well as giving back to the netball community.
No challenge is too big for Blue Mountains Netball Association, who maintain a positive attitude in their approach to allowing people with any level of ability to participate in competition and reap the rewards of playing a team sport.
Westside Netball Club (Coffs Harbour Netball Assocation)
Shantelle, an avid netball lover with celebral palsy, was an active participant in the Westside Netball Club at just ten years old. Often seen training with her younger sister’s team or aiding the coach on game day, Shantelle’s love for netball was palpable. So, when Wests Netball Club executives approached her mother in 2013 and suggested she play, the answer was an overwhelming yes.
The club demonstrated an inclusive and welcoming attitude to Shantelle and her family, ensuring that all local teams, coaches and players embraced Shantelle’s participation on the court, inspired by her determination to overcome her personal challenges to play the sport.
The actions of the Westside Netball Club have helped share the message that a disability shouldn’t keep anyone from playing the sport that they love. By inviting Shantelle to play, the club carved a pathway for other young people with a disability who wished to play and started the conversation about disability inclusion within their local netball association.