With Australians marking Father’s Day this Sunday, here at Netball NSW HQ we thought it pertinent to recognise the large contribution of fathers, grandfathers and father figures in our netball community.
Whether it’s supporting their children and partners from the sidelines, volunteering at their local Club or Association, coaching a team, umpiring games, or as a member of an Executive or Committee – the role men play in netball is hugely important. A great example of this is the tireless work undertaken by Peter Wilson from Orange Netball Association.
This Sunday will be a special day for Peter and his wife Sally, who will celebrate Father’s Day with their three children, one son and two daughters, and their nine grandchildren.
Peter has a long-standing connection to netball, which stems back to when the family lived in Gunnedah and Sally was involved in the local Association.
“I first become involved in the sport when Sally was a coach, and also the Association Secretary and Umpires Convenor,” explained Peter.
“Not that I was on the Committee, but I did a fair bit there like driving buses to the State Championships in Sydney and State League events around the region.”
Having three children all playing junior sport, Peter explained that as a couple they wanted to support the sports their offspring were participating in, with Peter once holding the positions of President at Gunnedah Junior Tennis Association and Treasurer of Junior Cricket in Gunnedah.
Following their move to Orange, the Wilson family become involved in the Orange Netball Association, with Peter recently notching up a decade on the Committee.
“Before I retired I used to cram a lot of stuff in at night and that sort of thing, but now that I’m retired, I commit a fair bit of time to the Association,” Peter said.
“I’ve been in the Registrar’s role for probably ten years or so… during this time I was also President for two years.”
The sport of netball continues to grow in the Orange catchment, with the sustained hard-work of the Association’s Committee bearing fruit across the board; from increased participation, to the growing number of accredited coaches and officials, and the success of their representative teams.
“The Association and the popularity of netball in the region have grown quite immensely. I think now if you look at that corridor outside the Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong area; I think we are the third or fourth largest Association in country New South Wales.
“I’m proud to be part of an Association which is very progressive and we’re always out there promoting the name of netball… which has paid off for us with player numbers and the amount of sponsors involved with the club increasing over recent years.”
One competition which Peter has taken great pride in watching blossom is Orange Netball Association’s midweek competition, which has seen lots of males giving netball a go.
“We’ve got a competition running at the moment with 30 plus teams in it, and more than half of those teams are mixed, and it’s just wonderful to see males participating in the game,” stated Peter.
“Previously many will have watched their wives and girlfriends from the sidelines, thinking they knew all the rules and intricacies of the sport, but they all have a new respect for netball now.”
The Wilsons’ selfless approach to volunteering comes from their will to give back and help others.
“The attitude that both Sally and I have always had when participating in junior sport, is that we’re able to give something back, particularly to the kids, in their development and ability to participate in sport. This approach extends through to the seniors, and in the role I have at Orange, benefiting everyone within the Association,” concluded Peter.
Netball NSW would like to wish Peter and all the fathers, grand fathers and father figures the very best for Father’s Day!