47 associations, 1550 players aged from 13 to 18 years, 155 umpires, over 300 coaches and managers not to mention the countless number of volunteers, parents and supporters will all converge on Townsville this weekend for the Netball Queensland State Age Carnival.
In one of the largest under age events for the year some teams even have chartered flights just to attend, with Redlands Netball Association having to book accommodation on Magnetic Island, travelling over to the mainland by ferry each day to compete.
Netball Queensland’s competitions coordinator Nikita Hellmuth said the three-day, 57 round competition is a chance for all under age players to represent their associations in a state carnival atmosphere.
“It determines the best team in each age group from across the state and is the pinnacle under age carnival in Queensland,” Hellmuth said.
“This is what all the young up and coming netball players strive towards each year and it is a chance for them to play the game they love with their friends in a competitive team environment.”
“It also paves the way for some of the smaller country associations to see how they match up against their bigger city sisters,” Hellmuth said.
Herbert River only has 150 members and is an hour and a half north of Townsville, a town of 12,000 residents with more in the outlying country areas.
President Lynene Melvin said Herbert River has been competing in the State Age carnival since the association started in 1980 but this one is even more special as it is closer to home.
“We choose our team in October and have been training since February to be ready especially since it is in Townsville and family and friends of the girls can attend the carnival and show their support.”
Melvin said the girls from the 13, 14 and 16-year teams are very excited about State Age this year and can’t wait to hit the court and show the bigger associations their netball skills.
“They want to show the bigger associations that with the right coaching and frame of mind you can be competitive with the major metropolitan teams,” Melvin said.
“Plus just getting the opportunity to play in this type of competition that we don’t get weekly at this level is something they are looking forward to..”
Netball Queensland has launched a brand new Instagram account, @netballq, just in time for State Age Carnival and want everyone to post their fun photos using the hashtag #StateAge14.
Also keep an eye on the Netball Queensland website www.netballq.org.au and Facebook Page for all the results and action photos from the tournament.