A dedicated home for netball in Queensland will be firmly on the state election agenda following a meeting between Netball Queensland Chief Executive Officer Anna Carroll and political leaders.
Ms Carroll said Netball Queensland is seeking commitment from both major parties for a dedicated netball facility that is vital to the future of the largest female participation sport in Queensland, its 50,000 members and 250,000-strong active community of players, volunteers and fans.
Netball Queensland previously met with the Newman Government.
While the LNP said it was sympathetic to netball’s needs, it was unable to commit support to a dedicated facility, Ms Carroll said.
Ms Carroll said a dedicated home for netball was not only critical for the state’s 250,000 netball players, volunteers and fans, it would provide significant economic and social benefits to all regions of Queensland.
“As the organisation representing the largest number of Queensland females playing organised sport and one of our most successful Queensland sports teams, the Mission Queensland Firebirds, Netball Queensland believes a dedicated, benchmark facility for our sport and our athletes is overdue,” Ms Carroll said.
“A dedicated facility for netball will significantly aid Queensland’s commitment to women in sport and can provide tangible benefit in improving women’s and girls’ lifelong participation in sport and active recreation – which is a stated aim of both sides of politics,” she said.
Ms Carroll said Netball Queensland had done its homework before meeting with the major parties and commissioned KPMG to investigate statewide needs and benefits of a dedicated home for netball in Queensland.
“Netball is the largest female participation sport in Queensland and one of the largest irrespective of gender,” she said.
“A dedicated netball facility in Queensland will deliver significant financial, social and community benefits to the entire state, not just the southeast corner.
“The KPMG report found netball in Queensland currently does not have access to a facility large enough in scale or suitable enough for high performance teams including our Mission Queensland Firebirds – the 2014 runners up in the ANZ Championship, the team’s third grand final in the world’s best domestic netball competition in the past four years.”
“It found the Queensland does not have a facility suitable for netball’s base needs in Queensland, let alone to grow and develop netball and female athletes in this state,” she said.
Ms Carroll said the benefits of a dedicated netball centre for Queensland included:
- The promotion of Queensland women in sport
- Improved facilities and support for tens of thousands of female athletes in Queensland
- A direct increase in numbers and support for Queensland players, coaches, officials and spectators from the grassroots to the elite echelons of the state’s largest female participation sport
- The development of Queensland’s netball strength via a dedicated hub for elite and emerging players, coaches and umpires
- The ability to attract major events to Queensland, like the Netball World Cup, which currently go to other states because Queensland has no suitable facility.
Queensland was the only Australian state that did not have a dedicated netball facility, or one under development, Ms Carroll said.