One of Netball NSW’s biggest events is back again with the 2016 SAMSUNG State Age Championships being held this weekend, Saturday 2 to Monday 4 July, at three venues.
More than 3,300 athletes from 309 teams representing 87 Associations will take the courts for the 48th installment of the competition, which will be held at Campbelltown District Netball Association (Championship Division), Bankstown City Netball Association (Division Two), and Illawarra District Netball Association (Divisions Three & Four).
Along with the thousands of players taking part, over 400 coaches and 500 umpires will be joined by tens of thousands of spectators, making the State Age Championships one of the largest female sports tournaments in the Southern Hemisphere.
As per tradition, four age groups – 15/U, 14/U, 13/U and 12/U – will contest four divisions across three days of back-to-back netball, showcasing potential future netball stars in the making.
Netball NSW would like to take this opportunity to thank SAMSUNG, Naming Rights Partner of the 2016 Netball NSW State Age Championships, as well as Major Partners Coast 2 Coast, The Athletes’ Foot, The Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) and The Kids’ Cancer Project for their continued support.
The State Age Championships were originally known as the ‘Junior District Carnival’, a day-long carnival which was first held on Sunday 14 July, 1968 at Moore Park (now recognised as City of Sydney Netball Association).
Forty-four teams representing 10 Associations contested in five age-groups during the inaugural tournament; 14 Years, 13 Years, 12 Years, 11 Years and 10 Years. Manly-Warringah and Sutherland Shire dominated the winners’ list for the first championships, with Manly taking out three (13 Years, 11 Years, 10 Years) and Sutherland taking home two titles (14 Years, 12 Years).
In 1969, the Netball NSW State Age Championships came into being for the 15/U, 14/U, 13/U, 12/U and 11/U year age groups and as the years rolled on, the number of entries grew to such an extent that it became necessary to contest the event over a two-day period to enable each Association to play one another. As team numbers continued to increase, the Championships expanded to include a third day.
In 1983, the decision was made to introduce a second division in each age group, and two years later the competition was restructured, settling on ages groups for 15/U, 14/U, 13/U and 12/U. Since this time, the competition has continued to grow, to include four divisions of competition in each of the age groups.
The competition is so large now, that no single Association has the courts, venue space and facilities to host all four divisions and age groups by itself! Therefore, multiple Associations are used simultaneously to host the event, which is an incredible effort from our fantastic volunteer-powered Associations.
Best of luck to everyone who will be participating in this year’s tournament!
For more information, please check out our SAMSUNG Stage Age Championships webpage.