The 45th Netball NSW State Age Championships, to be held Saturday 29 June to Monday 1 July, will see 304 teams from 91 Associations participate in one of the biggest female sporting events in the southern hemisphere.
One Association, which resides on the Williams River in the upper Hunter Region, will travel almost three hours one way to make their return to the three-day tournament, after last fielding a team in the early 1980s.
Dungog Netball Association will be represented in 13U Division Three, which President Sam Rumbel says is an extremely exciting achievement for the small Hunter Association.
“I have been involved with the Association over the last 10 years, and this is the first time in that period we have sent a team to the State Age Championships. It’s an incredibly exciting time for our small Association and we couldn’t be prouder,” Rumbel said.
Rumbel says a lot of the credit goes to Jessica Murray and Tracey Lowry, who between the two, began re-introducing representative netball back into the Association and training the younger players.
“Trials were held in September last year, and the girls have been training since February, so it’s almost been a 12 month process. However, it’s really been a lot longer process than that after Jessica, and then Tracey, started to discuss rep netball at Dungog years ago.”
After the success of sending a 17U side to State Championships last year, Rumbel says it’s fantastic to have a younger side represent Dungog at Parramatta Auburn Netball Association for the three-day tournament.
“The 13U team that is attending State Age are actually a combined age group, with some 12 year-olds playing in the older age group, which is fantastic for them to be stepping up and challenging themselves,” Rumbel said.
“The players have never experienced something like State Age Championships before. Win or lose, as long as they have fun and enjoy themselves, that’s all we are asking of them.”
Best of luck to Dungog 13U and all the teams contesting at the 2013 Netball NSW State Age Championships!