2018 Good Sports Awards: Rookie Club of the Year
West Gambier Netball Club
It’s remarkable what can be achieved in less than 12 months — especially for a group of volunteers who also juggle their jobs, being parents and other commitments. But what the committee from the West Gambier Netball Club has proved is that anything is possible when you have the enthusiasm and support of your community. That’s why they are our 2018 Good Sports Rookie Club of the Year.
Treasurer of the club, Tracey Maree Kipping says winning this award validates all of the hard work they have done since joining Good Sports.
“We wanted to make our club a healthy, safe and fun environment for all and felt Good Sports could help us achieve this,” she says. “Good Sports has helped us to develop policies and encouraged us to focus on the well-being of our members.”
“The change we are most proud of is bringing families back into the club. We have gone from having only a handful of netballers at club teas to ‘packing the house’. We have done this by focusing on the children – providing opportunities for them to be at the club and most importantly, to enjoy it. The juniors have loved being involved in the dress ups, games and social activities,” says Tracey.
“It has been surprisingly easy to do, but Good Sports gave us the courage and inspiration to have a go.”
Some of the key ways the club has re-engaged its membership and highlight a culture of positive behaviours, social inclusion and connectedness is to hold regular club activities that were appealing to families with children of all ages.
“Many of our functions in previous years have been aimed at seniors and the juniors have been a little ‘forgotten’ … This year, we held a Mexican themed social event. These events usually begin about 8 pm, but we wanted to include the juniors, so decided to begin the evening with tea (tacos and nachos), we decorated the club, people dressed up and we had a piñata for the juniors.”
“Everyone loved it! It was so fantastic to see the club full and everyone having a great time.”
The committee’s efforts have been noticed by the community and parents of players are thrilled with the change.
“I have been involved with the West Gambier Netball Club for the past three years and the transformation of the club in that time has been nothing short of astounding,” says Stephanie McIntosh, a mother of one of the junior players.
“Not only have they developed the policies and procedures to ensure a safe, sustainable and accountable club, but they have created an environment which is supportive, inclusive and family-friendly … the club should be extremely proud of their efforts.”