The Marie Little OAM Shield was contested over the weekend, with Netball Victoria making it back-to-back titles* by taking home the shield for 2013.
The round-robin tournament was contested by three States at the Anne Clark Centre on Sunday 18 August, with the South Australian Rubies finishing Runners-Up and hosts Netball NSW finishing in third.
The tournament was held in conjunction with the 2013 Australian Netball League, and is a competition for People With a Disability (PWD). Held in two sessions, the teams played each other twice before the winner was presented the title at the end of the day.
Previously named the All Abilities Carnival, in 2013 the competition was named in honour of Marie Little OAM^ who has dedicated her life to helping those with a disability.
Marie was on hand throughout the day to help cheer and support the competing teams, whilst also presenting medals to the participants.
“What I’ve seen here today in the skills and enthusiasm … I know the future of netball is going to be really, really, bright. It’s up to everyone to continue to support the initiatives which have started here today,” Little said to attendees during post-event festivities.
“Watching the players today has been just amazing, every game you played you improved. The umpires were spot on; it’s about playing to the rules, and that’s what life is about. If you can learn them on the netball court, you will be in good stead for the rest of your life.”
After months of hard work and planning, Netball NSW Community Engagement Manager Kristy Guthrie said it was wonderful to see the players enjoying themselves on court.
“It was such a fantastic day … all the girls just really enjoyed themselves. It was super competitive which is really pleasing to see and I just can’t speak highly enough about today,” Guthrie said.
“We are working really had at Netball NSW and Netball Australia to provide opportunities to people from all abilities and from all cultural backgrounds, and this is just one of these events. To have three State teams come together and to play is just fantastic and I’m just rapt, today was just such a great day.”
Netball NSW Head Coach Jenny O’Keeffe has already thrown her support at being involved with the team again next year.
“We’ve had an awesome outing I think, we have done exceptionally well – we’ve performed above expectations and I think all the girls have had a wonderful time and already looking forward to next year,” O’Keeffe said.
Congratulations to all the teams who participated in this year’s Marie Little OAM Shield and for making it such a fantastic day!
For more information on Netball NSW community inclusion programs, please contact Kristy Guthrie at Netball NSW – p: 02 9951 5000, e: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 Netball NSW Marie Little Shield Team
Sarah Jayne Forrest (c)
Melissa Gallagher (vc)
Head Coach: Jenny O’Keefe
Assistant Coach: Annie Collins
Manager: Ellen Monaghan
*Previous Winners – 2012, Victoria (Both Mixed & Women’s); 2011, South Australia.
^Marie Little OAM was a founder of AUSRAPID in 1986 and has dedicated her working life to improve the lives of people with an intellectual disability, using the medium of sport. Determined to change the mindset of previous thinking relating to sport for people with a disability, Little lobbied various national sporting bodies, including Netball Australia, to ensure their sports were available to all Australians. She will be attending the competition in Sydney to present the winning team with their medals, along with the Shield carrying her name.
Photo: David Callow/Netball Australia