Netball Australia has announced a plan to provide high-performance support to the Pacific’s top netball teams through a partnership with the Australian Government’s Office of the Pacific.
The deal means the Australia Pacific Sports Linkages Program will deliver $40 million in grants over five years to support the development of Pacific sport, working with Fiji Netball, Netball Samoa, the Tonga Netball Association and Netball Papua New Guinea.
Netball Australia CEO, Marne Fechner, said she is excited to be a part of the initiative to assist in enhancing Australia’s engagement with the Pacific through a shared love of the sport.
“Netball Australia is pleased to be able to extend our support for the growth and development of netball internationally, particularly given that netball plays such an important role in strengthening communities and providing an opportunity for girls and women to shine throughout the world,” she said.
“The Australia Pacific Sport Linkages Program will have a significant impact in supporting performance outcomes for netball in Fiji and Samoa in their lead up to the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, as well as PNG and Tonga as they build for the Pacific Games in July.
“The program builds on our commitment to the Pacific region, where we have been working for the past five years as part of the Australian Government funded Pacific Sports Partnership Program (PSP).
“This has included working with communities at the grassroots level to address physical inactivity, as well as inequalities experienced by women and girls.
“This new package of work with DFAT’s Office of the Pacific takes our support to the elite level, ensuring we are supporting quality netball outcomes at all levels in the Pacific,” Fechner said.
As part of the program and investment, Netball Australia will hold high-performance training camps in Australia, with match play against Australian teams as well.
In addition, Netball Australia will work to develop high-performance coach training resources and content that addresses key areas of intermediate coach development, as access to such resources has been identified as a key challenge and roadblock in developing elite netball in these countries.