Netball Queensland’s Diamond Spirit program has been honoured with an award that recognises safe, fair and inclusive practices and programs in sport. Play by the Rules raises awareness for initiatives and programs that contribute to safer, fairer and more inclusive sport participation and has recognised the Diamond Spirit program for achieving these goals.
Diamond Spirit Program Manager Lee Wilson was in Sydney to receive the award at the Inclusion and Diversity National Forum
“Sport has the power to change lives and the Diamond Spirit program, an inclusive program that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls living in remote and regional communities by encouraging greater participation in regular physical activity, is doing just that,” he said.
“We know that sport not only supports healthy bodies, but it also contributes to the social fabric of our communities. Diamond Spirit will also drive the continued growth of netball in the remote regions of far north Queensland, providing sporting opportunities for women and girls,” he said.
“We are a long way from finished and our work is not done, but we have started that journey and we are succeeding. This award is an opportunity to pause and reflect on that success and I thank all of our partners that have contributed to the program’s success,” he said.
Play By The Rules National Manager Peter Downs congratulated Netball Queensland and Diamond Spirit Program Manager Lee Wilson on the award.
“The program is a fantastic example of how to make sport more inclusive and to embrace diversity. We congratulate Netball Queensland on this outstanding result and on the good work being done in this area to bring sport to women and girls in remote communities,” he said.
In operation since 2017, the Diamond Spirit program has helped more than 2500 Indigenous students across seven remote communities participate in netball, including inter-community carnivals, school clinics and leadership camps. The program has also provided employment opportunities for Indigenous staff, coaches and supported umpire development to build local capacity.
“The feedback we are receiving from the teachers, coaches and school principals is all positive. We’re seeing first-hand children gaining the skills and abilities to play netball, cheer each other on and form strong social connections through competitive sport. These benefits flow through the school and their local community.”
Play By The Rules is a collaboration between Sport Australia, Australian Human Rights Commission, all state and territory departments of sport and recreation, all state and territory anti-discrimination and human rights agencies along with child safety agencies. PBTR is governed by a national management committee made of partners from the associated agencies.