Connie

CONNIE

MAREEBA NETBALL ASSOCIATION

NOMINATED BY HEATHER

Connie Martens is currently the president of Mareeba Netball Association. Without Connie’s tireless contribution Mareeba Netball Association would simply not exist. As a result of Connie’s effort now over 200 girls have the opportunity to engage in team sport and reap the benefits that comes with sporting participation.

Netball started in Mareeba in 2008 when two teachers from St Thomas started a netball program at St Thomas Catholic Primary school. Connie was there guiding the ship – she had recently moved back to Mareeba after being involved in Burdekin Netball for many years.
In 2010 an Expression of Interest for netball was sent out to the community. Connie and her team calculated that they required at least 80 junior players to make a viable competition – and ended up with 101 at sign on! From here the Mareeba Junior Competition was born.
Thankfully, the local state primary school allowed netball to use their facilities and with the help of a special teacher, Connie was able to encourage the school to include a netball court in their new indoor venue.
The netball association had no storage and so had to cart all the gear around and had to store it across many garages in the community!

Connie are her team created opportunities for junior players running Netball Queensland’s junior entry program- NET SET GO! They also travelled to Dimbulah as volunteers to start the interest there and gain potential players from surrounding areas.
Connie and her team engaged in anything netball that they could – if they were asked to attend Under 8’s day they would take all our gear and run a fun activity. If they were asked to attend a dance camp and run a netball activity they would go along there. Any chance they had they would promote the sport.

They used local media and made sure the girls knew about any regional programs that they might be interested in. Players were supported and encouraged to attend anything that was available which included regional and State pathways and competitions. They also have registered coaches who are employed through the Sporting Schools Program – delivering netball to schools in the area.
Connie and her team worked tirelessly with sponsors gaining the first $10,000 from 10 local businesses who gave $1000 each – these are still recognised today as Foundation Sponsors.

With the growth of the sport it was starting to prove difficult playing across multiple venues. In 2015 came the news that a large grant may be available and thanks to the driving force of Connie Martens and MANY TIRELESS hours of negation with other stakeholders, sponsors and council, the new courts got the green light at the beginning of this year.

Skip Forward to July 2016 – Mareeba Netball now have 4 beautiful new courts, canteen and a storeroom. The Junior Competition is at approx 180 players – as well as this they run an Intertown Competition which includes teams from other Associations. (Tablelands and Douglas) Mareeba Netball have hosted their own Junior Carnival with 21 teams attending from the region. They also hold a Fast 5 Senior session on Monday nights which has attracted 18 teams.

Mareeba netball now has the capacity to provide playing and development opportunities for players, umpires and coaches and will continue to do so into the future. This would not have been possible without the dedication, hard work and commitment of the beating heart of our association- Connie Martens.

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