NSW Swifts midcourter Vanessa Ware will retire from ANZ Championship netball at the end of the season after eleven (11) seasons with her Club.
Ware, 27, announced the news to her team-mates and coaching staff at training this week, after playing 105 elite games to date for the Sydney Swifts (40 Caps) and NSW Swifts (65 Caps).
The decision to retire is never an easy one for any athlete, but it just “felt like the right time” for one of the Swifts most consistent performers.
“I’ve been thinking about my future for a few weeks now, and I’m really comfortable with my decision to retire, it just feels right for me,” explained Vanessa Ware.
“This group of players are amazing, and I know the team and the club are in a really healthy place moving forward … it has been a really special season.”
Hailing from the Sutherland Shire of Sydney, Vanessa made her National Netball League debut for the Sydney Swifts on 26 July 2003 (Round 10) against the Perth Orioles in Sydney. Vanessa came on at wing attack in a game the Swifts won 67-41.
Known as an extremely hard-working quiet achiever, she has accomplished much during her career, including three premierships with the dominant Sydney Swifts in 2004, 2006 & 2007; the inaugural ANZ Championship premiership with the NSW Swifts in 2008 against the WBOP Magic in front of 12,099 fans; inclusion in the Australian squad in 2008 and wearing the green gold in 2011 with Australian Fast5 selection.
“I have been fortunate to do something I love for so long,” said Ware.
“To be a one-club player is an achievement I’m extremely proud of. While there have been ups and downs during my professional career, to take the journey with such an incredible group of people is certainly the highlight for me.”
“Netball NSW has been unbelievably supportive of me, both on and off the court, and I look forward to continuing our relationship into the future,” Ware expressed.
After Ware permanently hangs-up her NSW Swifts dress following the club’s final game of the season against the Canterbury Tactix on 24 June, she will turn her attentions to launching a new website in late July; www.huntersandgatherers.com.au.
“I’ve been studying Interior Design for a few years now and at the end of the season I will focus my attentions on completing my study, while launching huntersandgatherers.com.au,” explained Ware.
“It’s a business I’m running with my partner Adam and his sister Bianca, selling a great range of home-wares, furniture, clothing, and accessories.”
“While I’m full of emotions right now, I’m really excited about what the future holds,” Ware said.
Earlier this season against the Southern Steel (Round 7), Vanessa become just the 12th NSW player in history to have played 100 elite netball matches, joining her current NSW Swifts teammates Mo’onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green and Susan Pratley.
Netball NSW CEO Carolyn Campbell joined the organisation during Vanessa’s second season at the Swifts, and was full of admiration and praise for Vanessa.
“Vanessa is the epitome of professionalism and is adored by everyone associated with the Club.”
“While it is always a sad day when one of the club’s stalwarts and true champions decides to hang up the netball shoes – we are completely focused on celebrating the incredible contribution she has made to the Club, our State and grassroots netballers everywhere.”
“Vanessa’s contribution to Netball NSW and the Swifts over a decade has been vast and we can’t thank her enough for everything she has done for our organisation.” Campbell said.
While Vanessa’s current priority is the remaining games of the season, the Club has confirmed that she will have many options available to her within the organisation during her netball retirement.
“The door is very much open for Ness to be involved at the Club and Netball NSW in whatever role she feels she would like to pursue,” stated Campbell.
The NSW Swifts will celebrate Vanessa’s career at the club’s final game of the season against Canterbury Tactix on Monday 24 June (7:40pm) at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre. In addition, there will be tributes at both the NSW Swifts Gala Dinner on Friday 19 July and Netball NSW State Dinner in November.
“We look forward to celebrating Vanessa and her incredible career with our netball family, friends, fans and members – we know that there will be a huge wave of support and love for this Swifts’ Club legend,” concluded Carolyn Campbell.
Send a message to Vanessa via: [email protected]