Local netballers set pace
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