We have often wondered if the pioneering women who met and formed the New South Wales Women’s Basketball Association in 1929 ever thought the seeds sown back then would eventually blossom into the organisation we have today.
Ninety years of success certainly didn’t come easy, but the dreams and efforts of those visionary women meant netball – the only female-participation sport in Australia which isn’t a sub-branch of a more dominant male code – would always have a place at the top table of sports in this state.
It is somewhat fitting that Netball NSW enters its 90th year with record membership numbers. The organisation currently boasts registrations of over 115,000, with local netball courts jam-packed every Saturday morning as volunteers share their love of the game with a new generation, which will – in time we hope – do likewise.
Netball, at its basic level, is a simple thing. It is teamwork, friendship, community and camaraderie.
It is also identity. Who doesn’t enjoy the colour and passion displayed by our youngest participants when they come together 3,000-strong for the Junior State Titles? And what NSW netball fan doesn’t get caught up in the buzz and athleticism of the Swifts and GIANTS as they battle Australia’s best in Suncorp Super Netball?
It wasn’t always like this, but from little seeds, mighty trees grow. Netball NSW has been growing for 90 years now. That doesn’t mean the organisation is content with its lot. The Australian sports market can be unforgiving, meaning continual self-reflection and learning is vital to keep, and indeed advance, our game’s strong position.
However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reflect and celebrate what’s been achieved over the past nine decades.
In 2019 Netball NSW will play tribute to the key people, clubs and communities who have contributed to the organisation so far. This website will feature monthly content which will look to strengthen those connections.
Time passes quickly and it won’t be long before we begin the countdown to our Centenary. Therefore we plan to reflect on our past, embrace our present and look to the future with hope and expectation.
History proves that NSW is one of the most successful netballing states in Australia, claiming premierships, state titles and producing some of the best players to have ever played the game.
Much of this success can be attributed to the wide range of programs and services Netball NSW offers to its members – from the grassroots level through to the elite. Our coaching and umpiring personnel travel the state to conduct accreditation courses and clinics, ensuring continued development by providing support for our affiliated Associations and their officials.
Netball NSW also provides pathways for players, umpires, coaches and officials to further their pursuits. The NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball, alongside our national officials and administrators, are the leaders in this space, however, they are powered by our grassroots. Community, as we said, is the main ingredient of our success.
From Anne Clarke to Sharon Kelly, Anne Sargeant to Liz Ellis, Carole Sykes to Julie Fitzgerald, we salute the pioneers who have brought us to this point.
We will look to maintain the vision inspired by our forebears too.
To our youngest netballers who hit the courts every wintry Saturday morning with dreams of being the next Paige Hadley or Jamie-Lee Price we say this: dream big!
Our aim for 90 years has been to provide a sporting platform around which life-long friendships and healthy communities can flourish. That’s the key goal for the next 90 too.
Come celebrate with us in 2019.