Moe District wins zone premiership

Winners: Moe and District Under 15's team were all smiles after their Grand Final victory. Photographs supplied





DON’T you just love a netball tournament?

The 9am early start with the smell of deep heat and freshly cut oranges, the scenes of bright coloured ribbons to match the team colours, the chants and the parents cheering from the side lines.

On Sunday, June 4, Moe and District Netball Association held the Netball Victoria Eastern Zone championships.

Teams came from far and wide, from all the major leagues and netball associations in the wider Gippsland area to Newborough, with some travelling from as far as Bairnsdale and Leongatha to compete in a round-robin style tournament to showcase their finest junior talent.

The sun shone down on a freshly swept court and made for perfect playing conditions on the day.

Moe and District’s very own Under 15s team came away with a huge Grand Final win, taking out the whole tournament, but also securing themselves a spot at the state championships this Sunday (June 18), at the state Netball Centre in Parkville.

Moe and District’s Under 15s coach Tahlia Langan spoke of how proud she was of her team.

“The game was intense but super exciting. So proud of how the girls worked together as a team and their energy and effort was so good from start to finish,” she said.

“Pretty excited to be going down to Melbourne with the team to the next level and showcasing what these girls can do!”

The championships are a major component of the Netball Victoria Talent Pathway, where up-and-coming netballers from regional and metropolitan areas are recognised for their skills and potential.

Talent scouts attend each tournament date, inviting selected players to attend Talent Academy trials.

There was coffee carts, baked spuds and the elder walking netball women’s teams selling $1 slices and cakes to raise money for the association.

Moe and District turned to Facebook to thank all involved in a very successful day of netball.

“This is what playing squad is all about,” they posted.

“Congratulations to our under 15 team, who not only made the grand final but won against Gippsland League. They now get to represent Moe & District at the Association Champs finals day at the state hockey centre on 18 June. All the best girls.”

They extended their thanks to the coaches, team managers, umpires, squad coordinators, canteen staff, scorers and spectators, saying, “Girls, you all have made Moe & District proud.”

Suze Benson, one of Moe & Districts Squad coordinators, said the day was a huge hit.

She said that as the second time the association has held the major event on their new courts, the tournament attracted teams from everywhere, with around 1000 people in and out of the Newborough courts all day.

“It’s just an incredible opportunity, particularly for our local players. It’s not just putting Moe on the map; it’s also great to see so many young people come to play at Moe at this great facility with brand new courts.”

“Even the layout of the court allows players to take the court without any interference from crowds, and they don’t get overwhelmed by the spectators.

“We had lots of scouts there from the high-performance netball associations.” Scouts will look for the best of young talent to perhaps trial for the state team or Victoria Netball League in the future.

Benson thanked fellow squad coordinators, Moe & District staff, and volunteers.

“You couldn’t operate without all the volunteers that help out on the day,” she said.

Many aspiring netballers would have been recognised for their skills on that Sunday, and may receive a letter in the mail sometime soon inviting them to state trials.

You never know; maybe the scouts have seen the next Laura Dunkley to come out of East Victoria.

“It was a fabulous day; seeing so many kids being recognised for their talent and abilities is so good. It’s been really good,” Benson said.

Support: All players watched other teams in the association to cheer them on.