Netball Australia recently announced the Australia Post One Netball Community Awards recipients for 2019, and we are proud to announce that Bettina Goolagong, from the AFL Riverina Netball Association, was the NSW recipient this year.
Goolagong has been tireless in her work in the Collingullie Aboriginal community, and it is fantastic to have her work recognised on a national scale. Her work in the Gullie community transcends simply coaching, which she is heavily involved in.
Lee Williams, who nominated Goolagong for this award, described her as a nurturer,
“Bettina brings out the best in all the girls she coaches,” Williams said.
Most Collingullie teams contain several Aboriginal netballers alongside non-Aboriginal players.
“I believe she is closing the gap and more Indigenous girls are playing because of her,” Williams added.
Netball is a major part of the Gullie community and Goolagong described the game as “a family-based community, which is what our team dynamics are made from.
“It gives young girls role models to look to, and forms bonds of sisterhood.”
She has encouraged many girls to grow in confidence and in almost a decade in being involved in Koori netball, Goolagong has fostered a huge sense of confidence in young Aboriginal girls in her community.
As many netballers can relate to, injury has affected Goolagong’s playing aspirations, however, she draws inspiration from other sources.
“Nothing beats watching the kids playing the game and watching their development, not only in sport but in life in general,” she says.
A humble and wonderful contributor to netball in NSW, she is a very worthy award recipient.