February 1, 2017
A permanent fix for Nanango’s netball courts may still be some way off, but the Nanango and District Netball Association is determined to continue making progress towards its ambitious goal this year.
The club suffered a devastating blow in late 2013 when flooding caused extensive damage to its Brooklands Road netball courts, which had been refurbished just a short time beforehand thanks to a grant from Nanango’s Heritage Community Branch.
“The problem with the courts is that they are built in an area that floods, and they were built on a base of old bitumen from the early days of the Tarong Power Station,” club president Sheena Lindholm said.
“They’re not flood-resistant. So it’s just about impossible to stop them cracking and buckling unless we permanently fix the problem.”
The permanent fix the club wants is to rip up the existing courts and rebuild them on a solid block of concrete, along with a drainage system that will divert any future floods around the courts.
The problem is that it will cost more than $260,000 to do this.
To date, the netball club has funding commitments from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund, the South Burnett Regional Council, Heritage Community Branch, Stanwell Corporation and other donors totalling $110,000, which brings it to about 40 per cent of its fundraising goal.
But it is likely to take another few years before the group can achieve its target.
Right now only two of the club’s four courts are playable, though a third court can be pressed into service for one-off events like carnivals.
This year, Sheena said, the club intends to focus on recruitment, and it will be holding its 2017 sign-on at the netball courts on Friday, February 17 from 3:30pm.
In 2016 the club played host to 70 members in the Midgets, Junior, Cadet and Senior Divisions, and this year it wants to expand its numbers further.
“The bigger our membership, the more competition we get and the faster we can fundraise,” Sheena said.
The club is also temporarily suspending its long-standing competition with the neighbouring Kingaroy Netball Club so it can focus on recruiting new members from Blackbutt, Yarraman and Maidenwell.
“Kingaroy want to focus on expanding their membership too, and we found that competing with one another was stopping members from smaller towns joining us because they had to drive an extra 20 minutes every other week to take part in the competition,” Sheena said.
“So this year we’ve both decided to focus on internal competition instead.”
The club will also be introducing a couple of new programs in 2017 to ensure services to members are more rounded.
One of these will be a Ladies Social Senior Competition starting on Tuesday, February 21 which will run until the end of term. No uniforms will be required, and nominations will be accepted from individuals as well as teams.
Expressions of interest are also being accepted for a potential mixed competition later in the year.
Another initiative will be a “Come & Try Day” on February 24 in conjunction with a fundraising sausage sizzle. Midgets and juniors can come along for a no-obligation try out at 4:30pm, and cadets at 5:30pm.
This year the club will also be running an umpiring development program for up to 15 umpires in conjunction with Kingaroy TAFE, which will support members’ development towards a potentially lucrative career in professional netball umpiring.
The club will also be introducing a Player Rewards Program which will see a player from each team chosen to receive an award for a personal achievement as part of their season.
Sheena, who recently took on an additional position as secretary for Wide Bay Netball in addition to her duties as the club’s president, said she’s looking forward to the year ahead.
“We have a wonderful team of volunteers who are dedicated to our club and its members, and we’re all pursuing the dream of getting our courts replaced together,” she said.
“We’ve come a long way in a just a few years, and with all our members pitching in, we can get even further along in 2017.
“I hope any girl or woman who wants to play netball comes and joins us.
“It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s a great sport and you’ll get to meet some really great people.”