Circular Head Netball Association this month marks 75 years of camaraderie and sportsmanship.
Established in 1944 by Miss Smith, who later became Mrs Paice, the association started with six teams and was known as Circular Head Basketball Association.
In the 1960s it became known as Circular Head Netball Association and on May 24, 1986, the netball courts were opened at the Smithton Recreation Complex on Nelson Street.
Games were moved indoors to the basketball stadium when the courts were considered unsafe allowing for four new courts to be built in 2007. Improvements over the years, such as new lighting to increase visibility of all courts, have allowed the association to expand its rosters.
Today, Circular Head Netball Association hosts juniors, seniors and social rosters during the winter and has introduced a summer social roster for women’s and mixed teams. On Saturdays, the complex is abuzz with players of all ages, as the action starts with the Net Set Go development program.
A passion for the game and desire to provide opportunities to all players is what drives this sport.
“Our association has seen highs and lows over the decades,” says committee member Abbie Poke.
“One Life Member described being around the club in the ’80s as the best days of her life, as well as another former president saying that in the early 2000s the club was brought back from the brink of closure thanks to the passion and hard work of dedicated committee members.”
It is this community spirit that has allowed the association to thrive for 75 years.
“Throughout it all I believe the Circular Head Netball Association has sustained such longevity due to the inclusivity of the club,” says Poke.
“It is a sport that really has a position to suit everybody and we provide rosters for a wide range of people.
“There are now boys, girls, men and women currently playing this year with the age gap between our youngest and oldest currently registered players being 40 years.
“Of course all this is driven by the passion and the love that so many hard working members – too many over the years to mention – have for those 48 minutes on court, and the countless hours they have dedicated to working on rosters to allow others to play and enjoy this great sport also.”
Circular Head Netball Association’s 75 year anniversary will be celebrated on Saturday June 29 at the Circular Head Community and Recreation Centre’s Hall of Fame from 7pm with guest speaker Catherine Cox.
A three-time Commonwealth Games medalist, Cox won gold in 2002 and silver in 2006 and 2010. She is one of only four Australian players in history to earn a 100th test cap and has scored over 2000 goals for Australia. Cox will share her career highlights at the anniversary event before hosting a junior development clinic the following day.
The 75 year anniversary event is open to the public, to reserve your ticket by this Sunday (June 16), chat to Abbie Poke on 0400 057 816.
On Sunday June 30, Catherine Cox will host a development clinic open to players aged from 13 to 17 at Smithton High School’s gymnasium from 9am, cost is $25.
Circular Head Netball Association celebrates 75 years this month. The club has hosted generations of players over the decades including Life Members Betty Maynard, Margaret Williams and Sue Popowski, committee members Michelle Gale, Alicia Jamieson, Sharni Pearce and Abbie Poke, junior players Brielle Bryan, 12, shooting for goal and Net Set Go player Koa Poke, 5, and Katie Everett, 12. Picture: Ashleigh Force.