Queensland’s current and future Firebirds from grassroots to the elite level will have a permanent nest to call their home with plans for a $30 million netball hub for the state.
A new, eight-court indoor facility at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Brisbane will now be built to further develop the sport in Queensland
Netball Queensland chief executive Catherine Clark said she hopes up to 5000 retractable seats for a show court will also be part of the design.
“Putting the state’s promising players under the same roof as its established elite would also encourage mentoring,” Clarke said.
“This new facility will bring our netball community together and allow us to develop player, coaches and umpires at all levels of the game.”
Acting Premier Curtis Pitt said $15 million had been allocated for the project in next month’s state budget, with another $15 million to be pledged within a year.
“There is no finalised design or construction timeline yet for the “long overdue” headquarters,” Pitt said.
“Our expectation is that we’ll be able to see the Firebirds host the sorts of games that they are already bringing the razzle-dazzle to,” the treasurer said.
“It’s so important Queensland has a home for netball befitting the very high standard that we’re seeing played here in this state.”
The Firebirds are still celebrating a history making one-goal victory in the ANZ Championship Grand Final over the NSW Swifts.
Captain Laura Geitz said a single facility will make training and playing easier for not only the Firebirds but for all netballers in Queensland including our elite junior teams and the next generation of Firebirds.
“The girls are putting a new destination into their GPS each week and need a excel spreadsheet to keep up with where we are training,” Geitz said.
“That’s taxing on girls that are not only playing a professional sport but also holding down full-time working.”
It’s not yet known where the new centre will be built on the QSAC site.