Lo­cal net­ballers set pace

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

NET­BALL play­ers are jump­ing higher and far­ther than an out­break of cane toads across Queens­land and girls in the Dou­glas re­gion are lead­ing the charge in record num­bers.

Dou­glas Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion ex­pe­ri­enced one of the high­est growth rates of reg­is­tered play­ers in Queens­land over 12 months last year, up 25 per cent from 174 play­ers to 217, com­pared to a 7.5 per cent av­er­age in­crease across the state over the same pe­riod.

Since 2008 un­til last year, the DNA’s mem­ber­ship grew a stag­ger­ing 150 per cent, com­pared to an im­pres­sive 31 per cent av­er­age in­crease statewide.

Net­ball Queens­land last week ac­knowl­edged the out­stand­ing ef­forts of the DNA and wants to use “their se­cret” to grow other net­ball clubs through­out the rest of Queens­land.

NQ’s busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Hamish John­ston wrote a let­ter to the DNA last week out­lin­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s achieve­ments and look­ing to adopt some of its strate­gies to im­ple­ment else­where.

“We want to sit down with the club and dis­cuss what strate­gies and initiatives it has put in place to achieve its fan­tas­tic growth,” he wrote.

“Our Mem­ber­ship Sup­port Unit would dearly love to meet with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Dou­glas Net­ball Club about how they have achieved their growth and then share that suc­cess with other net­ball clubs through­out the state.”

DNA sec­re­tary Treveen Page said the club was thrilled NQ wanted to talk to them.

“We are yet to sit down and dis­cuss any plans with them but we would be happy to do so,” Page said.

“Anything that can ad­vance this won­der­ful game for the girls we are al­ways will­ing to look at.”

Page said one of the big rea­sons the game had taken off in the Dou­glas re­gion in re­cent years was the fact there were not many team sports avail­able for girls here.

And why has the game taken off in Port Dou­glas and Moss­man?

“Most im­por­tantly the game al­lows the girls to make new friends and to learn to be team play­ers and to rely on each other which is very im­por­tant,” she said.

“And of course it is a very healthy sport and gets the kids out­side.”

In keep­ing with be­ing healthy, the club has in­tro­duced a pol­icy where more health­ier foods are be­ing sold in the can­teen such as cur­ries and rice, fresh sal­ads, fruit juices and smooth­ies.

At the mo­ment the Dou­glas Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion has 14 ju­nior teams, with 10 girls to a team, as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tive teams that play in the se­niors’ com­pe­ti­tions.

“One of the other rea­sons the club is do­ing so well is that it was very proac­tive in get­ting the girls in­ter­ested in the game by go­ing to the schools and giv­ing demon­stra­tion games so the girls could see first-hand what a great game it is,” Page said.

Hav­ing a ball: Lau­ren Rad­cliffe, Lucy Web­ster and Rae Page

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