Alloway president Lyn Newport celebrates 60 years in the sport of netball this year.
Alloway president Lyn Newport celebrates 60 years in the sport of netball this year.

Newport still in it for the love of the game and the club

NETBALL: For Bundaberg's Lyn Newport she can't live without netball in her life.

And the same could be said for the Bundaberg Netball Association, it wouldn't be where it is without her.

Newport this year celebrates a special milestone by bringing up her 60th year of being involved in the sport.

From setting up a club, to playing, to representing her home town and then to coaching her club and representative sides, Newport has done it all.

Newport is still going as well, coaching the Division 1 and Division 2 team this year for Alloway.

The 70-year-old has been involved in the sport since 1961.

"I started playing at 11 at primary school," Newport said.

"I played for north primary school at Salter Oval."

Back then the sport was called women's basketball before later taking on the name of netball.

Newport got involved in the sport through her sister who was playing in seniors when she was playing for what was called the satellites team back then.

"Right from the start, I enjoyed netball," she said.

"I enjoyed the competition of it."

She then moved to club side Escorts to start her senior netball, which was run by Merle Eveling before Alloway was born around 45 years ago.

"The club (Escorts) was getting too big," Newport revealed. "So another lady, Lyn Brown, and myself formed the club."

The club was based at the Alloway Country Club, which was where the name came from.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Newport has never left and coached and played at the club she is the president at currently.

She played in the top division until the mid-80s before playing division 2 and below before focusing on coaching in the past few years.

Newport has also been an umpire, gaining her national C and B licence and also played representative for Bundy.

"I represented Bundaberg for many years, then felt I was too old," she said.

"I enjoyed playing and played higher than I was capable of in some ways.

"For me I just like the thrill and working hard to give it all to a team."

Newport said while the premierships were great at Alloway the highlights of her career so far was getting her umpire licenses and helping Bundaberg to beat Downey Park as coach in representative netball.

"Those girls were the association to beat at that time," she said.

"The Bundy team we had were outstanding."

Newport revealed she wouldn't be where she was today without her husband who helped support her netball all the way.

She also admits the game has changed dramatically since she first started

"It's a totally different game," she said.

"You couldn't contact before, now you can impede, now you can nudge.

The attitude of players has changed."

But win, lose or draw, Newport will always come back until she feels it is time to move on.

"First protocol, I'm there for the Alloway club," she said.

"I'm still enjoying it, still enjoying the people around me.

"Until I think it is time, or somebody thinks the club should go in a different direction then I'll stay."

Newport said she was still trying to involve netball in her life with her grandchildren while waiting for the competition to resume because of the coronavirus.

This includes drills and trying to teach them the secrets of the game that have served her well for many years.

For now, like others, she is waiting so she can get back out on to the courts she loves.

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