NETBALL 2020: Christina Jones in the Chinchilla ladies netball grand final for Nothin Special versing the Shenanigans in 2019. Pic: Zoe Bell
NETBALL 2020: Christina Jones in the Chinchilla ladies netball grand final for Nothin Special versing the Shenanigans in 2019. Pic: Zoe Bell

Chinchilla set to become regional hub for netball

The Chinchilla Netball Inc is working towards creating a netball hub in the region so players in surrounding areas don’t have to miss out on getting involved in the sport.

The club is working with council to build state-of-the-art netball courts at Chinchilla State High School so players further out west no longer have to travel hours every week to participate.

Chinchilla Netball Inc community liaison and media officer Renee Richards said the club is looking to host more games and carnivals in Chinchilla this year.

“You can imagine those from areas like Wandoan and Taroom – if they want to play in a regular competition, they would have to travel all the way to Dalby every weekend,” Richards said.

“If we can provide access to quality competition just up the road that’s what we want to be able to do … so we’re hoping with the new courts, we will be able to host some more carnivals here.”

Richards said the isolation and a lack of resources in smaller communities can be an issue for players.

“Sometimes we can feel a little left behind in the country and that everything has to be based out of bigger urban centres,” she said.

“We have some top quality athletes that are born and bred in rural Queensland, so we want to be able to provide a service for them where they can feel valued and welcomed and hopefully encourage them to stay involved in sport, and in particular netball.

“We’re really excited about our representative calendar this year, and we’ve got a number of carnivals, particularly for juniors, that we are planning on attending this year – so that’s open for everybody to attend; it doesn’t just have to be those in a rep team.”

A new netball event making the 2020 calendar this year is a social competition, that will be held Tuesday nights at the Chinchilla high school.

Richards said she is excited about the addition as the informal structure of social games allows more players to get involved regardless of their skill level. “It’s more based on people who want to have a go – if they have never played or haven’t since school, we would really love for women to come back to the sport in a friendly non-competitive environment,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity for women to focus the social aspect of sport, it can really help with mental health and isolation that sometimes people can feel in rural communities.”