By SAMUEL DARROCH
LATROBE Valley netballers returned from the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast with three medals across four divisions this month.
Playing under the Racers Masters Netball Club banner, the sides comprised of players from across the region claimed gold in the Elanora division 40 plus age group, bronze in the Tamborine 55s and Labrador 45 B grade and ran fourth in the Varsity 50s.
Head coach Diane Heppleston said it was the best result in her eight year tenure with the group, following on from a 40s silver medal last time they contested the event.
“We needed to go one better this time and we were lucky enough to get the gold,” Heppleston said.
“We played Geelong Masters, which was the Australian Masters last year, and none of us got medals in that so it was a huge improvement.”
After trailing at quarter-time, the Racers rallied back to defeat AAming High 40-21 in the 40s gold medal match, following some 11 games over six days.
Heppleston said the result came down to the energy among the playing group.
“It’s the girls, they’re enthusiastic, they know how to play netball, I’m just there as a figurehead,” she said.
The Racers edged out the Blazers by a single goal to take out bronze in the 55s division, while the over 45s side defeated the Coasters 26-11 in their third/fourth playoff.
The over 40s side plays together in Morwell, while the 50s and 55s compete in Moe and District competition.
The 45s are an amalgamated group from various Valley townships.
The 40s were coach by Heppleston and managed by Alison Snell, the 45s by Julie and Charles Micallef, the 50s by Marina Tucker and Bernadette Mackenzie and the 55s by Kerry Macnamara and Rhonda Clark.