Earlier this year, Netball NSW called our West/Central West family into action to assist in delivering netball to children in remote communities … and what a response we received!
While on the road taking netball to towns such as Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina, Netball NSW regional coordinators Mardi Aplin and Emily Ross noticed many of the children who turned up to try netball didn’t have correct footwear to participate.
This led to the West/Central West Shoe Drive, where Netball NSW asked our friends in the community to donate their old joggers for those new to the sport.
“We saw an amazing response to our call-out for old footwear and equipment, not just from Dubbo and Orange, but from across the State. On behalf of Emily and I, and Netball NSW, I would like to thank everyone for their generosity,” Aplin said.
“Since the influx of donations we’ve made deliveries to Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina, giving those new to the sport footwear to be able to participate properly. It’s been such a success, we are now planning for proper competitions to commence as early as Term 2.”
Aplin and Ross approached Lightning Ridge representative Amanda Cheal and Brewarrina’s Julia Jeffrey to come out and help engage their local community in netball. A six-week ‘Introduction to Netball’ program was developed and has since seen 55 participants take part in Lightning Ridge and 35 in Brewarrina – the latter also setting up a seniors division with eight teams signed up so far.
Now all set with equipment such as bibs, balls and portable posts – as well as donated footwear and their new ANZ NetSetGO t-shirts – Aplin said it was fantastic to see the towns take this introductory program on board and look to set competitions up for the long term.
“What started as a little idea has turned into proper competitions in such a short time. It’s amazing to see the communities respond so positively to our sport and to see plans already in place for next term,” Aplin said.
“A big thanks is extended to Amanda as well for helping us coordinate not only the shoe drive, but also our introductory netball sessions. We are looking forward to getting back out to Lightning Ridge and Brewarrina over the coming weeks and seeing their progress.”
For more information on Netball NSW Community Engagement programs, please contact Community Engagement Manager Kristy Guthrie on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours.