21 October 2019

Netball team shows it's not all about winning

| Michael Weaver
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Latisha Burke

Netball ACT team member Lateasha Burke shows the joy of playing during the Marie Little Shield in Brisbane. Photos: Supplied.

Sometimes, sport isn’t all about winning. This is one of those times.

From the thrill of scoring your first goal to exemplary sportsmanship and kindness, Netball ACT’s Marie Little Shield team quickly won the hearts of all involved in the One Netball Marie Little Shield tournament at the Queensland Netball Centre in Brisbane.

The three-day tournament, which ran from 14 to 16 October, is a state-based representative competition for all-abilities participants from across the country. The tournament was the first for an ACT team of 11 athletes that included four from NSW.

Many of those selected were new to the sport of netball and thrilled by the opportunity to represent their state.

Netball ACT’s manager of sport Nicole Bowles said although the team did not win any of their matches, they won the hearts of everyone who watched them play.

“We are beyond proud of the achievements of the individuals and team this year,” Ms Bowles said.

“There was not a dry eye on the sideline as tears of joy were shared.”

Ms Bowles said the players were excited to participate and made many new friends through netball, a focus of the Marie Little Shield all-abilities participation model.

“The importance of being the first all-abilities Netball ACT Marie Little Shield team is significant. They have laid the foundation for inclusion and participation for athletes within the ACT all-abilities pathway for years to come.

The ACT team after a game

The Netball ACT Marie Little Shield team with the opponents after a game during the tournament in Brisbane.

“As an organisation, this was so important for us to deliver to our community. We want the message of inclusion to be strong, and to lead by example for our districts.

“Everyone is welcome in netball and we hope that by seeing what these remarkable young ladies have achieved, others will embrace the opportunity to play netball,” Ms Bowles said.

Making friends

Making friends in the ACT Marie Little Shield team.

The ACT team featured heavily across the three days of competition on social media, with Netball Australia and The Confident Girls Foundation sharing images of the team and their celebrations. Suncorp Super Netball grand final winning coach Briony Akle even took time to acknowledge the amazing efforts of the team, with a confidence-building comment on Facebook.

The team will be acknowledged as state representatives at the Netball ACT presentation night on 22 November at The Hellenic Club in Woden.

2019 Marie Little Shield Team: Lateasha Burke, Olivia Runting, Charlotte Bailey, Lucy Barraclough, Ursula Steele, Jemima Heberden (NSW), Madeleine Elphick (NSW), Eadynn Haak (NSW), Lucy Hamilton (NSW), Rebecca Parker, Rowena McBride, coach Dayna Waterworth, assistant coach Marie Seuala-Pomale, manager Marilyn Whyte.

The Netball ACT Marie Little Shield players – the ACT’s newest state representatives.

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viking princess9:42 am 21 Oct 19

These girls played so well together and every other state and territory supported them knowing it was their first time at The Marie Little Shield Competition. The sportsmanship demonstrated over that long weekend was exemplary and brought a tear to many an eye. Well done girls, well done every girl who competed, you made us all so proud!

Thanks for writing this and sharing the photos Michael.

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