Ballarat Pride wants licence back

HOME GAMES are Ballarat Pride’s strength.

Local support: Promising young goaler Laura McDonald in action for Ballarat Pride in the home game earlier this month. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Local support: Promising young goaler Laura McDonald in action for Ballarat Pride in the home game earlier this month. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Healthy crowd numbers, the professional and smooth running program, good facilities and community support for home games is unmatched in the Victorian Netball League.

Netball Victoria general manager of operations Michelle Gerdtz and chief executive officer Michelle Plane were courtside a fortnight ago to witness this first hand.

Home game support will help Ballarat’s cause to win back a VNL licence but the club is planning a complete overhaul to tick off all criteria to earn a spot in the league beyond the next three-year term up for grabs.

The VNL highlighted administration and daily player training programs as Pride’s biggest weakness.

Ballarat Pride spokesman Jordan O’Keefe said the club, and a working group featuring representatives from the region’s major sporting bodies, had taken all criticism on board in piecing together an application to submit by Monday.

The VNL made official its decision to axe Pride from competition in early April but did not meet with the club until May 9 to detail its findings.

Administration-wise, O’Keefe said Pride was working to split organisational management from team operations.

He said doublings-up in the past reflected the volunteer nature of the club but clearer roles and boundaries were being defined.

The VNL also set a requirement for all clubs to have a minimum five core training sessions each week, on top of game day, which O’Keefe said the working group had reviewed to address this as best as possible, especially to attract and retain quality recruits.

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