Netball: Ballarat back in VNL

Ballarat has won its way back into the Victorian Netball League
Ballarat has won its way back into the Victorian Netball League

Ballarat has won his way back into the Victorian Netball League.

Netball Victoria announced at noon on Friday that its 10th and final licence was awarded to Ballarat Sovereigns.

The licence was put up for grabs in early April when the VNL axed the now-defunct Ballarat Pride from competition.

A working committee featuring Ballarat Netball Association, Wendouree Netball Association, Central Highlands Netball Association, AFL Goldfields and representatives from the City of Ballarat, North Ballarat Roosters football and Ballarat Basketball pieced together a new submission for the city by the May 26 deadline.

For the first time in Ballarat netball history, all associations in the region will be actively involved in the Sovereigns VNL program.

The newly created Sovereigns will have specialist coaches in Natasha Chokljat, Liz Boniello and Elissa Kent - all Australian representative players, as well as a detailed off-court performance program designed to help athletes, coaches and umpires move into Netball Victoria high performance programs and create a successful on and off court culture for the new club.

Netball Victoria general manager netball operations Michelle Gerdtz said the strength of the proposal put forward by the Sovereigns and the new integrated and targeted approach to off-court practices would be extremely beneficial for the growing Ballarat netball community.  

“The proposal put forward by the Ballarat Sovereigns is extremely detailed and addresses all of the requirements that Netball Victoria sees as critical for success of a VNL Club and the league itself,” Gerdtz said.

“The Ballarat Sovereigns personnel are committed to making their netball community a strong regional centre and with this proposal, we believe they are taking the right steps to move forward,  continue to grow our sport and create strong opportunities for people within the region.

“We have in the VNL, one of the strongest netball competitions in Australia and we are continually looking to provide our athletes, coaches, umpires and officials with the best pathway development possible.”

The VNL was formed in 2009 as a restructured state league and the forming of the Trans-Tasman Netball League. 

Competition features 10 clubs, each with three teams involved in championship, division one and 19/unders.

Ballarat is the only regional club.


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