The Sunshine Carnival rolls into Rockhampton this weekend for the last of the state-wide competitions on the 2014 Netball Queensland calendar.
With 80 teams from 27 Associations across Queensland hitting the courts, this is the chance for not only the younger age groups, but the more mature players, to represent their areas and the open age group is proving to be a major drawcard for the netball enthusiasts.
Underwood Park Netball Association from Brisbane is sending seven teams, with two in the opens division and Mel Berardo, who turns 41 on Friday, said she can’t wait to pull on another representative bib.
“I have been playing netball since I was 7 and represented Southern Districts at state age carnivals and rep carnivals so it is still fun to be able still go and compete at 41,” Berardo said.
“I love the comradery with the team I play in at Sunshine plus it is a fun carnival with an open competition, so it offers something for an older age group.”
“Last year we came fourth and the year before we came third, but it is not about where you place it is about having fun and a trip away with friends.”
“Also playing at a carnival with the younger age groups kind of keeps you feeling young, and while I can still play at a higher level I will keep getting out on the court,” Berardo said.
There are also plenty of regional Associations represented with Biloela, Emerald, Kingaroy and Nanango fielding teams in the all-age groups with Mt Isa even sending two teams in the open divisions.
The 13 years division is just as popular as the open division, as both age groups have 19 teams competing, proving netball is still growing in the sunshine state.
The Rockhampton hosted carnival is expected to inject approximately three million dollars into the local economy over the two-day event and begins Saturday with the opening ceremony at 7.45am and will conclude with the trophy presentations to the winning teams on Sunday afternoon at 2pm.