Netball NSW this evening announced the introduction of the Netball NSW Premier League (NNSWPL) at a formal function held at the governing body’s $35 million centre of excellence, Netball Central, Sydney Olympic Park.
The NNSWPL, which will commence in 2016, is a new competition to attract the best current and emerging talent within NSW. Its purpose is to offer a local, elite platform for players, coaches, officials and administrators, and provide bridging opportunities in to the Australian Netball League (ANL) and subsequent ANZ Championship.
Three years ago, Netball NSW proactively commenced an extensive review of its High Performance Programs, with the inclusion of such an elite competition in its pathway seen as a priority in the organisation’s vision of producing State and Australian representatives.
“With participation and interest in netball at an all-time high, the introduction of the Netball NSW Premier League is an exciting development for the sport within New South Wales,” said Netball NSW CEO and NNSWPL Commissioner, Carolyn Campbell.
“While we have, and will continue to run successful competitions, we see the Netball NSW Premier League playing a vital role in retaining our State’s emerging and elite talent pool while providing the high level competition which aspiring athletes, coaches and officials require for higher accolades.”
Through a robust application process, overseen by the NNSWPL Commission, the eight successful Franchises granted an initial two-year NNSWPL Licence are;
- Blacktown City (Netball Association Incorporated)
- Central Coast Heart (Incorporated)
- Eastwood Ryde (Netball Association Incorporated)
- Manly Warringah Sapphires (Premier League Netball Incorporated)
- North Shore United (Limited)
- Panthers (Premier League Netball Incorporated)
- Sutherland Stingrays (Premier League Netball Incorporated)
- UTS St George Sparks (Netball Association Incorporated)
The NNSWPL will be contested across two Divisions – Opens and Under 20s – with a Pre-Season tournament scheduled from 2 March through 23 March 2016, followed by the commencement of the 14-week regular season beginning 18 April 2016. The Finals Series will be contested over three weeks, with the Grand Final currently penned for week commencing 22 August 2016.
“I’m proud to say that more people play netball in NSW than any other State or Territory in Australia,” said Netball NSW President Wendy Archer AM.
“Netball NSW is continually looking for ways to engage more people in our great sport, and to foster and support the ambitions of our members.
“The Netball NSW Premier League is a wonderful addition to our competitions calendar, and along with the eight Franchises, we look forward to delivering a competition which will be revered as the Premier State League in the country,” concluded Archer.
With an official NNSWPL Launch scheduled for February 2016, Netball NSW and the eight Franchises are now engaging with the corporate sector to secure support ahead of the inaugural season.
All games in the NNSWPL will be played at Netball Central, the world’s leading purpose built netball facility at Sydney Olympic Park.