The Hunter Region was the venue for a fantastic three days of action last week as 12 Academies came together to contest the Australian Invitational Youth Games, Greater Bank Netball Tournament (formally the NIB Games) in Maitland from Wednesday to Friday, 13-15 July.
The Games are a sports carnival at which higher level squads and teams get to compete against similar opposition.
Netball was one of seven sports which took part in this year’s Games alongside golf, rugby union, athletics, duathlon, softball and swimming.
Western Sydney Academy of Sport (WSAS) took the honours in Division 1 of the netball competition while Sydney Netball Academy (SNA) were winners in Division 2.
Two more Academies also made it on to the Honours Roll with Eliza Perkins (Northern Inland Academy of Sport – NIAS) named MVP for Division 1 and Jazmin Newman (South Eastern Regional Netball Academy – SERNA) getting the nod for most valuable player in Division 2.
Just like in 2015, and with so many Academies present, Netball NSW also used the Games as an opportunity to provide real-time mentoring to the Academy coaches, umpires and managers involved.
Netball NSW held a Managers Workshop on Wednesday evening, with all Regional Academy of Sport (RAS) managers attending. The focus was on the roles and responsibilities of RAS managers and how to best enable them to give holistic support to their academy coaches and athletes.
On the Thursday, Netball NSW appointed coach mentor Marion van Munster helped conduct an RAS Coach Development workshop. This involved a brainstorming session focusing on the complexities of coaching the younger Develop A Diamond Academy 14-16 age group.
Netball NSW Umpire & Officials Coordinator Chris Hall along with appointed NSW umpire coaches Kate Thornborough and Ngaio Stobbs, also conducted a unique Umpires Development Program across the three days of the Games, while the umpire panel also assessed and successfully badged two umpires – Georgia Sturnman (Illawarra Academy of Sport – IAS) and Cherie Collins (Hunter Academy of Sport – HAS) with their National B accreditations.
Netball NSW were also delighted to announce the successful assessment and awarding of an Advanced Coaching Accreditation to Netball NSW Regional Coordinator Mardi Aplin in Bathurst on Friday. That was followed up on Saturday with a NetEd ‘Coach On Court’ skills sessions with 26 coaches from Bathurst, Cobar, Orange and Parkes taking part.
“Last week was a wonderful one of learning and development for all involved and congratulations to everyone who took part in any capacity and to those who achieved National accreditations,” Netball NSW Volunteer Workforce Manager Dianne Brown said.
“Holding coaching, umpiring and managers courses in conjunction with the Games allowed us a wonderful opportunity to take our expertise out to the regional volunteers and areas, allowing them to get valuable insight from some of the best in the business and help our game grow.
“Umpires, managers and coaches were challenged with implementing group strategies across the completion of the Games and the remainder of the RAS season, and it was a worthwhile exercise for everyone involved.”