Netball Queensland has congratulated the Sunshine Coast Lightning on its third successive grand final appearance and will celebrate with a live site as part of the Primary Schools Cup 14 – 15 September, broadcasting the grand final live on outdoor screens.
NQ CEO Catherine Clark said it was a fantastic result to see a Queensland team at the top of the ladder.
“We couldn’t be happier for the Sunshine Coast Lightning – what an outstanding result for the players and the staff. I am especially thrilled for Noeline given all she has achieved,” she said.
If the Sunshine Coast Lightning win this grand final, they will hold a historic three successive grand finals victories.
“Our Primary Schools Cup has fallen on the same day as the grand final, which we couldn’t have foreseen over 12 months ago when we set these dates with the Sunshine Coast Council and the Sunshine Coast Netball Association. But, actually it’s kind of cool that we get to host a live site and be together as a netty community, to cheer them on as they go for that historic win.
“Working in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Council, we’re thrilled to announce that there will be large outdoor screens on site and we can all come together as one netball family to watch the grand final,” she said.
Clark said it is always a cause of celebration to see Queenslanders playing on the big stage, both in Suncorp Super Netball and earlier in the year for the Diamonds.
“Cara Koenen, Laura Scherian, Madeline McAuliffe and Jacqui Russell are all homegrown Queensland talent, as well as training partners Ashlee Unie, Binnian Hunt and Chanel Dyer. They have come through our system so we are really proud and happy for these athletes who have worked so hard to achieve their goals. It also tells all those young players out there to believe in their dreams.”
Clark said it was particularly satisfying to see how strongly Queensland teams have dominated the national level competition in recent years.
Out of the past nine grand finals at national level a Queensland team has appeared in eight of them.
The Queensland Firebirds played in the grand final in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, winning in 2011, 2015 and 2016.
“That timeline is pretty amazing. By any sport’s standard, it is an incredible appearance record. We wish the Lightning all the luck in the world and we’ll be cheering them on to make Queensland’s dominance even more impressive,” Clark said.
The schedule of the recent HART Sapphire Series games had included a break in the middle to allow participants to watch the SSN semi-final clash between the Lightning and the NSW Swifts.
More than 2000 people – including players, parents and staff – are expected to attend the Primary Schools Cup from all over Queensland.