Mareeba Netball Association have four new reasons to celebrate!
From 2016, the fledgling Association located an hour west of Cairns will finally have a home, including four full size courts, lighting and a small canteen and storage area.
President, Connie Martens started the Mareeba Netball Association after moving from Burdekin joining Meridith Ford from Townsville, when she found there was no netball being played in Mareeba.
“When we first came to town and there was no netball fixtures, we did not know what to do with ourselves,” Martens said.
“We had all these other sports being played in the town but no netball competition other than in schools.”
Martens started the Association in 2010 with the first season kicking off in 2011 using two undersized courts at a local school with 18 NetsetGO! Kids and 14 teams ranging from ages 8-12 and high school.
Since then the competition has grown so Martens got together with other organisations in the town including the Bendigo Community Bank to raise $420,000.
This meant the small Association could apply for the Get Playing Plus Queensland Government Grant and were successful in securing the other half of the required $840,000 to build their home of netball.
“As far as netball is concerned it will get us moving to have our own place to play and to hold carnivals and it is exciting for our Associations,” Martens said.
“Mareeba netball will now have a home and we can expand our local fixtures from offering just netball to juniors, we can now have a ladies competition.”
“It will certainly take Mareeba netball to the next level, with proper size courts, to have the facility it is just amazing, we were all celebrating,” Martens said.
The netball courts are part of a larger project in conjunction with cricket and the local council, with a bikeway and cricket nets also being built at Eales Park, near the Mareeba leagues club.
Fixtures on the new courts will start in 2016 with construction commencing in June 2015.
Minister for Sport and Recreation, Steve Dickson personally visited Mareeba to announce the good news that the funding for the much anticipated project had been approved.
Martens said the support from the local community had been overwhelming from not only the Council, Mareeba Leagues Club, but from other sports such as basketball, cricket and junior league.