Hosting events to foster relationships between junior and senior players and the purchase of training equipment will now be possible for the Jervois Bluds Netball Club thanks to the $1000 Mazda Community Netball Grant the club has won.
The club’s Vice President Michelle Afford, who submitted the application, said Jervois Bluds are a small rural club centralised in the dairy farming area of Jervois within the River Murray Netball Association.
“This season we have five senior and five junior teams, with our players ranging in ages from eight years old to those in their early 40s,” she said.
“We are a self-funded club and all the maintenance of our courts and grounds is completed by volunteers.”
Michelle said part of the club’s development program is to hold a couple of “buddy” nights during the season to foster relationships between their junior and senior players.
“With the grant money we will now be able to provide food and drink for these days and training equipment,” she said.
“The buddy days are extremely important as our club survives by attracting members mainly from outer towns, including those who travel from Murray Bridge, Langhorne Creek, Coomandook and several from Adelaide.
“With players travelling from so many different towns to play for us, we want to create a family friendly atmosphere, build up the ethos at the club and see greater connections between our junior and senior players
“On Saturdays the juniors play in the morning and seniors in the afternoon, so there normally isn’t a lot of interaction between the different age groups.
“We’ve already started to grow these connections with senior players taking on the role of team manager for our junior teams and asking juniors to stay and watch the afternoon games. The juniors now look up to the senior players, which is really cool to see.”
Michelle said the development of the club’s coaches will also be assisted by the grant money.
“We are lucky to have gained the assistance of local retirees Pat and Terry Brown to develop our coaches. However, the $1000 will further develop our resources to improve our coaches’ skill, which will benefit our players and result in more on-court success.”
With six grants available, a winning club is announced each month from May through October. Grassroots netball clubs around South Australia were invited to apply for the Mazda Community Netball Grants earlier this year.
Mazda is a proud partner of Netball SA and the Adelaide Thunderbirds.