Sport

Netball season opens with new $2.1m complex

WE’RE THE CHAMPIONS: Alloway 1, Division 1 winners, are set to embrace a new era in netball.
WE’RE THE CHAMPIONS: Alloway 1, Division 1 winners, are set to embrace a new era in netball. Contributed

EIGHTEEN months of meetings, planning and hard work will come to fruition today as the $2.1 million Bundaberg Super Park Netball Complex officially opens.

Bundaberg Netball Association was hit hard in 2011 when Daph Geddes Netball Park was flooded and then two years later in 2013, it was flooded again.

Association president Karen Holloway said it was sad to be leaving its home at Daph Geddes Netball Park but the future was looking bright for the sport.

"Most of us have grown up, we've watched our girls play netball there and in some cases, some members have watched their grandchildren play there," she said.

"Daph Geddes Netball Park holds such fond memories for so many people.

"However, we've been very fortunate to have received this funding and while it has been a long and very time- consuming process, it's all come together and I think everyone would agree it looks amazing."

The excitement is palpable among the five teams set to compete in the Netball Division 1 competition - none more so than reigning champions Alloway.

Alloway cruised to a convincing win against Blazers Luxfield in last year's grand final 51-38.

Coach Lyn Newport said the side was not burdened by expectations and she was looking forward to an exciting year of competition.

"New complex, new year - it's very exciting," she said.

"We finished on such a high in 2014 and we have retained most of our players."

Newport said there had been three new acquisitions to the squad.

"I have two new girls I have brought in, sisters Jamie and Demi Burgess," she said.

"Jamie is a 1.8m goalie and Demi is a defensive player and both have been accepted in the regional academy.

"We also have got Lauren Segon who has come back to netball after being away for 12 months."

Captain Briony Thompson said she trained on the new courts on Wednesday night and was impressed.

"The courts are levelled and brand new," she said.

"The playing surface is really nice and great for the feet and knees."

Thompson said she was looking forward to the first game against ATW Blue.

"I don't know how the wind from the nearby airport will impact us," she said.

"So we may need to adjust our games for that but I'm really excited."

Topics:  bundaberg netball association flooding netball