top of page
Search

Newcastle to provide full pathway from grassroots to Super Netball


Photo Credit: Peter Lorimer and Simone De Peak


Below is the extract from the Newcastle Herald article published 17 March 2023 - story by Renee Valentine


Tiffany Gilmour had the choice of starting her elite netball career with the powerhouse Sydney Swifts or her home-town Hunter Jaegers.

She chose the latter, and still gets goosebumps recalling the feeling of playing in front of a capacity home crowd during the Jaegers' final two seasons.


The 37-year-old, who also played for the Swifts after the Jaegers folded, would love to see a national league side back in the Hunter region and has described a proposed redevelopment of Hunter Park at Broadmeadow as "vital" to the sports progression in Newcastle.


In 2017, the NSW government flagged a major overhaul of the Broadmeadow sport and entertainment precinct. The Herald revealed in November a leaked "masterplan" for the redevelopment - which would include a new 11,000-seat entertainment centre - but the Liberal government is yet to confirm any further details.


The Wests Group have voiced their interest in bankrolling National Basketball League and Super Netball franchises in Newcastle - providing an indoor arena is built at District Park.


"That first year I was offered a contract with the Swifts or Jaegers and obviously Swifts had won many premierships and it was so enticing," Gilmour, who is now the Giants Academy attack coach and runs coaching business Nettyheads, said.

"However, my dream was to be like Lara Welham and be the goal attack that played for the Hunter team, because you could see it. So it really was a no-brainer to choose the Hunter team.


"Reflecting back on my career as a Hunter Jaeger, it was absolutely special to have the Hunter crowds. We used to draw the biggest crowds of the whole competition back then, but when other teams used to turn up to the entertainment centre it wasn't at an elite level.


"That first year I was offered a contract with the Swifts or Jaegers and obviously Swifts had won many premierships and it was so enticing," Gilmour, who is now the Giants Academy attack coach and runs coaching business Nettyheads, said.

"However, my dream was to be like Lara Welham and be the goal attack that played for the Hunter team, because you could see it. So it really was a no-brainer to choose the Hunter team.


"Reflecting back on my career as a Hunter Jaeger, it was absolutely special to have the Hunter crowds. We used to draw the biggest crowds of the whole competition back then, but when other teams used to turn up to the entertainment centre it wasn't at an elite level.



Photo Credit: Photolook Newcastle


Cassar welcomed a new top-level venue at Hunter Park but said the proposed redevelopment did not provide the indoor infrastructure netball needed to grow.

Hunter Netball have, however, worked on a proposal with NUSport to redevelop part of their facilities at the University of Newcastle to offer a training venue as well as a showcourt option. The proposal was submitted to the state government in October last year.


"We've been actively talking with both sides of [NSW] government and will continue discussions with the new government once elected," Cassar said.

"At the moment though there appears to be a real lack of commitment by this government to address the needs of the Hunter, be it the Hunter Park proposal or the case we have put forward, which is a bit disappointing.

"But we'll continue to advocate for proper facilities here in the Hunter for our athletes so that we can retain our athlete pathways here in the Hunter as currently we lose athletes to Sydney franchises."


Nelmes added her voice to calls from regional advocacy groups, Wests Group chief executive Phil Gardner and National Basketball League boss Larry Kestelman for the government to progress plans for a new indoor stadium and large-scale redevelopment on the 63-hectare site at Broadmeadow.

11 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page