Netball Queensland today welcomed the announcement by the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Labor Government to deliver funding for a dedicated “Home of Netball” in Queensland.
This time last week the homeless Mission Queensland Firebirds created history, snatching a thrilling one-goal Grand Final victory and now the 2015 Champions along with the rest of the netball community in Queensland will have a new nest.
Netball Queensland Chief Executive Catherine Clark has applauded the Premier’s commitment of $30 million towards a dedicated netball facility in Queensland, which will include funding for a brand new eight-court indoor netball centre to be built at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) at Nathan.
“This announcement represents a watershed commitment to women’s sport. Netball is the premier sport for women and girls in Queensland and the facility is a long time overdue,” Ms Clark said.
“Queensland has fallen behind other States and Territories in providing a dedicated home for Netball. As the largest female participation sport, we have a huge role to play in nurturing Queensland’s sporting talent by providing pathways from grassroots through to our Mission Queensland Firebirds and onto Australian Diamonds honours.”
“Netball has never had a purpose-built facility and this has certainly put us at a disadvantage when competing against other State teams and programs. Today’s announcement is a triumph for the State’s 250,000 strong netball community,” Ms Clark said.
“The Firebirds thrilled us all last Sunday with a magnificent win against the NSW Swifts to become the 2015 ANZ Champions. Our players are fantastic ambassadors for netball, providing inspiration for all women and girls to pursue their sporting dreams.”
“The Government has demonstrated real leadership in supporting women’s sport in Queensland and this facility will provide tangible benefit in improving lifelong participation in sport and active recreation.”
The Mission Queensland Firebirds are one of Queensland’s most successful sports teams taking out the ANZ Championship trophy in 2011 and 2015 in addition to back-to-back Grand Final appearances in 2013 and 2014.
“A dedicated facility will strengthen our competitiveness allowing us to identify and develop more home grown talent through the Netball Queensland elite pathways,” Ms Clark said.
“Our Firebirds Captain Laura Geitz, is a fantastic example of the quality athletes we have in this State.”
“Our job is to help women and girls realise their sporting potential through the programs, clinics and competitions we will be able to run in this facility, our Home of Netball.”
“We will be able to grow and develop netball at every level, for players, coaches and umpires, across Queensland,” Ms Clark said.
Starting her netball career in regional Queensland, Geitz led the Australian Diamonds to an international clean sweep in 2014 and has just been named as Captain of the Australian Diamonds team to contest the Netball World Cup in Sydney this August.
Geitz said a dedicated home for netball in Queensland was a dream for the netball community and will be a fantastic resource for netballers and women across the state.
“To have a benchmark facility where we can train, play and have all the support services centralized is something we have never had before,” Geitz said.
“It will take Netball in Queensland to the next level and provide an amazing opportunity for the next crop of high performance players and future Firebirds to be nurtured.”