Brisbane parade caps an amazing week for Firebirds
THE week got even better for the victorious Queensland Firebirds on Saturday with a tickettape parade through the Brisbane CBD.
For former Southern Downs juniors Laura Geitz and Clare McMeniman, there were more celebrations during the week with Geitz being named captain of the Australian Diamonds World Championships team on Wednesday and McMeniman winning the players' player award for the Firebirds on Thursday night.
Then an announcement that the State Government had committed $30 million towards a home for netball in Queensland at Nathan.
Acting Premier Curtis Pitt praised the all-conquering Queensland Firebirds on their thrilling Trans-Tasman Grand Final triumph at the ticker tape parade in Brisbane.
Mr Pitt said the Firebirds had done Queensland proud with their famous come-from-behind win in the dying seconds of the 2015 Premiership decider.
"This year's final counts as one of Queensland's greatest sporting moments ever," he said.
"It's great to beat a team from New South Wales in any sport, anywhere, anytime - bit it's even better to do it in a national Grand Final.
"And it is even better to do it when you fight every inch of the way and never give up.
"On behalf of the Premier and all of Queensland, I want to thank all the members of the team for making us all so proud.
"Congratulations to the Queensland Firebirds for a fantastic win and a fantastic season."
In last weekend's thrilling final clash, Queensland led for only 14 seconds in the whole match - enough to clinch an historic victory.
Mr Pitt also paid tribute to the Firebirds' efforts to promote netball.
"The Firebirds, along with Netball Queensland, have helped build the game off the court," he said.
"Player numbers in the 8-10 ten year age group are up ten per cent and in the 11-17 year age group are up seven per cent.
At the Firebirds presentations, Romelda Aiken and Kim Ravaillion split the MVP honours and the decision came down to the wire, with Ravaillion scoring a last round surge of points to claim her first big award.
Fellow midcourter Gabi Simpson took out the Members' Player of the Year award for a second year in a row and Vice-Captain Clare McMeniman voted by her teammates as the Players' Player.
19-year-old Mahalia Cassidy was recognised for her debut match and Laura Clemesha was presented with the Spirit Award.
There were plenty of other milestones and highlights from the season celebrated including Laura Geitz and Romelda Aiken playing 100 matches for the Firebirds, with both players inaugural member of the Firebirds as well as a part of the 2011 and 2015 Championship winning teams.
Bec Bulley was recognised for playing 100 ANZ Championship matches, and Romelda Aiken's achievement of being named Australian Conference MVP was celebrated once again.
Players' Player Award: Clare McMeniman
Voted by the Firebirds team at the completion of the season for the player they believe has contributed to the team both on and off the court. The recipient of this award possesses qualities such as professionalism, leadership, commitment and persistence both at training and on the court.