South Australian Rubies win One Netball Marie Little OAM Shield


South Australia’s Rubies bring home gold in 2019 One Netball Marie Little OAM Shield in Brisbane.

The 2019 Rubies team travelled to Brisbane to compete in the annual national championships for women with an intellectual disability – the One Netball Marie Little OAM Shield. The three-day competition, which took place on October 12-14 at the Queensland State Netball Centre, represents a great opportunity for these talented athletes to compete on the national stage.

The Rubies have always proved tough contenders in the competition, bringing home a silver medal in the two previous years. This year they had their sights set on gold once again, but this time no one would stop them in claiming it.

The Rubies were on fire throughout the entire competition. Undefeated in all six rounds, they headed into the grand final against Victoria with confidence.

The Victorian side came out strong, netting the first three goals of the game, but the Rubies were determined to keep the dream alive, eventually finding their strength. Finally, the dream team brought home the victory 21-18 to take out the top spot and make South Australia proud.

Rubies coach, Tricia Crockford, has spent six years working with the team and says she loves the opportunity to work with and challenge the girls.

“The squad this year have trained for 13 weeks prior to the Marie Little Shield and as I knew all of them but one, I knew that I could push these players even further than last year. Our newest player, Jasmine, had only played around six games prior to trialling for the Rubies, but I thrive on teaching these girls,” said Tricia.

After being runner up in 2017 and 2018, Tricia is thrilled the team were able to take home the gold in this year’s competition.

“We were undefeated for the tournament and won the gold! I am literally in the clouds and will take some time to come down from this amazing effort.”“What a few days! This is for the girls. Their hard work, dedication, commitment and passion for netball is what got us over the line today. To say I am proud is an understatement.”

“Our trip away is always full of fun. All of the girls were excellent and adapted well to their new surroundings. “

Tricia says there were a couple of key highlights leading up to the championships.

“My aim was to prove to the girls that their disability will not outshine their ability on the netball court. The girls took on every challenge I threw at them, and they thrived on our guest coach Megan Carter.”

“Another highlight was a visit from Maria Folau. Maria showed a genuine interest in our team.”

For the Rubies athletes, the chance to compete on the national stage is one all the players involved cherish.

The Rubies’ win adds to Netball SA’s growing success on the national stage, with South Australia also holding the championship title in U15, 17U and 19U competitions.

The competition is named in honour of disability pioneer, Marie Little OAM and was first introduced in 2013 to recognise her dedication to improving the lives of people living with a disability.

Netball SA’s Participation Coordinator – Schools and Inclusion, Cath Quinn, says Netball SA are thrilled the Rubies have secured the win.

“The win is a testament to the ongoing support and commitment to Inclusion, in particular to the growing AMND C6 competition and the clubs involved.  We would love to see this competition grow even stronger as more clubs increase their commitment to Inclusion and Diversity.

The Marie Little OAM Shield is proudly supported by Netball Australia’s Community and Social Inclusion partner Australia Post.