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Netball Unveils State Of The Game Review Recommendations Claiming Outdated Governance

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etball Australia, along with its state and territory member organisations, all Super Netball clubs, the Australian Netball Players’ Association, and the Confident Girls Foundation, have welcomed the independent State of the Game Review report which claimed the sport has an “outdated governance system”.

The report included eight strategic recommendations from the panel, which was led by former Australian captain, Liz Ellis, including:

  1. Strategic system alignment
  2. Governance reform
  3. State led participation growth
  4. Fully integrated performance pathways for athletes, coaches and umpires leading into the Origin Diamonds
  5. Suncorp Super Netball as the vehicle to drive commercial growth for netball
  6. System wide operational efficiencies
  7. National digital strategy
  8. Implementation resources

Within the report, the panel suggested Netball Australia’s “greatest challenges” come from an “outdated governance system”.

“The most obvious one is the inability of Australian netball to align at all levels on what it wants to achieve and how it wants to achieve it,” the report said.

“This is exacerbated by a lack of trust both vertically and horizontally in the Australian netball system; a lack of clarity at all levels around responsibilities and accountabilities; duplication and inefficiencies in administrative functions across the national and state bodies; and the financial costs of investing in and supporting the growth of Suncorp Super Netball.

“This is overlaid by an outdated governance system that has led at different times to overreach by and instability of boards at all levels,” the report said.

Netball Australia chair, Paolina Hunt, welcomed the recommendations, saying they are a crucial next step in re-imagining netball’s future after a challenging 2020.

“As the report directly reflects the views of our diverse Netball Nation, it came as no surprise that netball’s internal stakeholders have demonstrated their desire to work together to deliver on the review’s core recommendations,” Hunt said.

“The State of the Game Review is the largest scale independent review ever conducted into netball – carried out over five months and integrating the voices of over 10,000 netball stakeholders – and the insights gained provide an accurate and current data set from which to launch the panel’s recommendations.

“We have a great opportunity, leading into Netball Australia’s centenary year in 2027, to set the sport up for the next 100 years, and I’m very much looking forward to working together with key stakeholders as we align for growth and success as an outcome of the review process,” she said.

Head of the State of the Game Review panel, Liz Ellis, said she is delighted to see Australian netball come together in agreeing to both support the recommendations and commit to working through the details to bring them to life.

“The review identified some key changes critical to the growth of netball during the coming months and years,” Ellis said.

“These changes, while major, are the outcome of extensive consultation and a perceived desire at all levels to see netball evolve to become a major player in Australian sport from grassroots through to professional and elite.

“It is pleasing that netball’s core bodies have accepted the information uncovered through the review and have committed to coming together to implement change,” she said.

Ellis was joined on the State of the Game Review panel by Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, experienced non-executive director and former MP, Wendy Machin, and experienced non-executive director, CEO, CMO, and media executive, Joe Pollard.