Players trade boots for bibs
Wednesday, 21st September, 2011
By Gayle Hogan
Some of the city’s footballers have found a novel way to keep fit during the off season: by playing netball.
Broken Hill Netball Association President Cathy Jelbert said the mixed competition was introduced to entice local football players to the sport as their season came to an end.
Eight teams have signed up for the mixed comp - the first to have been held in the city for a number of years.
Mrs Jelbert said the strong response means the association will look to conduct the competition every Twilight netball season which starts as footballers gear up towards their finals.
And while no tackling is allowed in netball - Mrs Jelbert said those watching from the sidelines may be surprised to see footballers taking to the courts with some of the skills they acquired on the field.
“There is a bit of a difference (between women’s and mixed competitions).
“The women are really competitive.
“The mixed competition is still competitive.... The boys jump higher. They have lots of those footy skills - they intercept a lot.
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“It’s really fun to watch.”
Mixed teams need three men and four women on the court at any time and the competition is open to anyone 15 and older.
Mrs Jelbert said the mixed competition builds on from the local football clubs entering teams in the junior and senior womens grades.
The mixed games are played at 9pm every Wednesday and the 10-week round robin competition will conclude on November 23.
There are 500 netball players in Broken Hill across three senior grades: A, B and C as well as under 9, under 11, under 13 under 16 and the mixed categories.
Mrs Jelbert said the game remained popular in the city.
“It’s pretty strong.... we use most of our courts throughout the night.”
Meanwhile, the Netball Association is looking to make the netball courts more family friendly.
“Hopefully we can get some upgraded facilities,” Mrs Jelbert said.