In wonderful news for netball fans around the State, Netball NSW has today been confirmed as one of the three preferred bids for the 2017 National Netball League.
In front of a large media contingent at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena, Netball Australia announced a landmark new competition and broadcast deal, which will feature eight Australian teams.
Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said that the 2017 teams would include the five existing Australian sides contesting the 2016 ANZ Championship – NSW Swifts, Adelaide Thunderbirds, Melbourne Vixens, Queensland Firebirds and West Coast Fever – and three new additions; one of which will be a second NSW-based side to be owned and operated by Netball NSW.
“We are delighted with the news that Netball NSW was successful in submitting an Expression of Interest to own and manage one of the new licenses in the 2017 National Netball League,” Netball NSW CEO Carolyn Campbell said.
“The new team gives Netball NSW the occasion to form a strategic alliance with GWS Giants and other key stakeholders in NSW and the ACT.
“Netball NSW felt it was important to grasp this opportunity – for our 115,000 registered members – to bid for one of the three new licenses, and we are thrilled with the outcome.”
The new national league will commence in February 2017 and be contested over 14 rounds, with three weeks of finals, and will see all eight teams play each other twice during the regular home and away season.
“Having a league format with two-full rounds of competition is something that the sport has needed, which is even better for NSW fans who will enjoy double the amount of netball,” Campbell stated.
“Interest in NSW netball is at an all-time high. We’ve seen record registration numbers at grassroots level; our Netball NSW-competitions, such as Schools Cup, are also seeing thousands sign up to participate in 2016 – more than ever before.
“We have also introduced a brand new competition, the Samsung Premier League, which has attracted some of the best netball talent not only in NSW and Australia, but from around the world.
“When you pair all of this with the popularity of our NSW Swifts, who have celebrated sell-out Memberships and crowds in 2016, it paints a clear picture of the amazing interest netball has in NSW right now.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in netball, particularly in NSW, and we’re looking forward to being a part of the continued evolution of the sport and consulting with our netball family in the coming months as plans begin to take shape.”
Campbell took the time to express that whilst 2017 is exciting, the organisation is focused on the 2016 ANZ Championship season and the Swifts’ campaign.
“We’re so proud of our NSW Swifts who are in great form sitting in second place on the Australian Conference ladder halfway through the season,” Campbell said.
“Everyone at Netball NSW, our Swifts Members and fans are right behind the Swifts as they continue their tilt for the 2016 Premiers title.”
Netball NSW looks forward to providing further details to our netball family in the coming weeks.
2017 National Netball League
Netball SA – Adelaide Thunderbirds
Collingwood Football Club – new licensee
Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club – new licensee
Netball VIC – Melbourne Vixens
Netball NSW – new licensee
Netball NSW – NSW Swifts
Netball QLD – Queensland Firebirds
Netball WA – West Coast Fever