It’s been a huge year of netball in Tasmania, about to be celebrated tomorrow night at the Netball Tasmania state league dinner!
In 2019, Netball Tasmania’s partnership with the Collingwood Magpies continued to grow. From a pre-season camp, practise match, and a Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) game in round 13 against the NSW Swifts. The Collingwood Magpies are now three from three in Tasmania, making it “a successful home away from home” said Aaron Pidgeon, CEO of Netball Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Magpies, who compete in the Australian National League (ANL) feeder competition to SSN finished third this year, and the meaningful contributions from the Tasmanian athletes is continuing to grow. Aaron Pidgeon has been noticing the impact, “the program is proving mutually beneficial and the any perceived gap in athlete talent is closing fast, which is good for all parties”.
More locally, Netball Tasmania has engaged 2,400 kids in school programs so far in 2019 with more scheduled over the remainder of the year. This is up from 700 in 2017 and 1,400 in 2018. This has been a strategic focus for Netball Tasmania to make sure more kids are being exposed to Netball in school.
Participation growth is on track to increase again in 2019, meaning that Tasmania will have seen four consecutive years steady growth. The number of NetSetGo centres continue to expand, and overall participant numbers increase, despite increasing opportunities for young female athletes in the sporting space.
Netball Tasmania implemented the Tasmanian Netball Hall of Fame in 2019, with the inaugural Inductees recently announced. The formal Induction Ceremony is set to take place in October 5th and Netball Tasmania hopes that the Hall of Fame will serve as a fantastic vehicle for the celebration of Tasmania’s rich Netball history.
The signing of a further four year deal with RACT Insurance as naming rights sponsor sees the Tasmanian Netball League’s (State League) future secured through until the end of season 2022. The League just concluded its 32 consecutive year of operation making it the longest running true state-wide league sports competition in Tasmania.
Netball Tasmania’s State teams have seen a few very lean years, but there are positive signs that they're turning the corner following an overhaul of the development programs and pathways. Despite not picking up wins, both the 17&U and 19&U State teams had competitive outings, in particular the 19&U team whilst the 17&U team were ravaged by injury. The State 15&U team performed strongly, picking up wins against ACT and NT to finish in 6th place, with other strong performance against ‘larger’ states.
Netball Tasmania has increased focus in the facilities space with more facilities being a key focus for the near future, and facilities upgrades, to ensure that participation numbers do not become restricted due to facility capacity. This has been, and will remain, a key focus in the coming years as we work with local Associations, as well as Government and other sports bodies, to address the dire need for suitable indoor sports facilities across Tasmania.
At Collingwood, we're focused on continuing to grow the relationship with netball in Tasmania, from grassroots to Suncorp Super Netball.