Victorian Netball League panel to look at Pride proposal

A VICTORIAN Netball League panel will take its first official look at Ballarat Pride’s licence application on Wednesday afternoon.

The league has delegated a reference group to sort through submissions from clubs wanting to join its ranks.

One three-year licence is up for grabs after the VNL announced it had cut Pride, in its existing form, from the premier state league competition.

The submission deadline was on Monday night.

Netball Victoria general manager of netball operations Michelle Gerdtz said this initial assessment would determine what step the VNL would take next in the licensing process.

Gerdtz said it would likely follow a shortlisting and interview process, depending on the standard and number of applications received.

An information session on April 15 drew interest from 10 netball bodies, including Ballarat.

Gerdtz said the league had maintained communication with Pride, including a formal review process on May 9.

“It’s a process we’ve gone through with all 10 (member) clubs and was a good opportunity to get together and talk through reasons why Pride’s licence was not renewed,” Gerdtz said.

“Pride’s response and the way they have reviewed this to make their submission has been really positive.”

The Ballarat proposal to the VNL and Netball Victoria features a rebranding as Ballarat Sovereigns, Pride of Ballarat.

Decorated Australian netballers Natasha Chokljat, Elissa Kent (nee Macleod) and Liz Boniello have committed to the club as specialist coaches, should the application be successful.

The Ballarat proposal has also made a clear a restructure to separate a governing board from team operations.

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