MANNING Valley Netball's season gets underway tomorrow (Saturday July 4).
"It's been a long wait, we're all excited,'' MV Netball president Janine Kennewell said.
A total of 35 junior and senior teams will be involved. Despite the belated start and the shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, team numbers are on par with other years, Janine said.
The season will run until Saturday September 26 when the grand finals will be played. Manning Valley Netball's representative teams will then head to the State championships to be played at various venues in Sydney over the October long weekend. This will be in the under 12, 13, 14 and 17 age divisions. The sides were selected last year and resumed training about three weeks ago.
Manning Valley Netball will host the opening round of the regional championships on Sunday July 26. Teams in the under 14 and 17 divisions from Great Lakes, Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Hastings, Macleay and Manning Valley will be involved. Due to time constraints and COVID-19 restrictions the association won't host an open gala day this year.
Meanwhile the association has secured sponsorship from Transport NSW. This is for goal post pads, shirts for umpires and netballs.
Transport NSW's Hunter Aboriginal projects officer Brendan Jensen said the sponsorship will help highlight road safety in the indigenous community. He explained that netball has a strong representation of indigenous players and this is why Transport NSW was keen to get involved.
"Aboriginal people are twice as likely to be killed or injured in a crash compared with non-Aboriginal people,'' he explained.
Manning Valley Netball is the first association outside the Hunter to benefit from the sponsorship.