Plenty of Sporting Fun on offer over Summer
Thursday 14 October 2021, The Examiner
Few things bring people together more than team spirit. I am lucky enough to be involved with a number of sporting clubs and teams around our city, to be patron and/or sponsor numerous awards and even have a play with some of these talented and skilled sportspeople.
Now that we are heading out of the cooler months and into the warmer weather, I wanted to highlight what’s on in sport in northern Tasmania at the moment, with a couple of sporting codes I have been involved in of late.
Recently, the 2021 season for the Northern Tasmania Netball Association wound up and, in the context of eased restrictions on gatherings this year, had a big season.
The NTNA encourages, fosters, promotes, develops, extends and governs netball right throughout northern Tasmania. It coordinates a complex roster that accommodates dozens of teams across many competitions. From social to competitive, whether you are in fantastic shape or just starting out playing the game, there is something for everyone. This year, there were 66 teams competing across Divisions one to seven, and 82 teams competing in the junior competition.
Masters and mixed teams also played throughout the year and a walking netball roster for players who would like to take it a bit easier is in the pipeline. Starting from this week, a social roster is commencing at the courts at Hobblers Bridge. With eight rounds scheduled for mixed teams, this is a great way to get involved, meet new friends and be more active in the warmer months.
Also commencing this week is the Generation Netball Club titled Net Set Go. This is Netball Australia’s only junior entry netball program for girls and boys, developed to give children from 5 to 10 years the best possible start, and a positive introduction to netball. This is a great way of introducing young people to a team sport plus providing skill activities in a fun and safe environment as well as encouraging continued participation.
The hard work, dedication and teamwork that goes into playing netball, but also into organising the rosters and managing the competitions – much of which is done by volunteers – is an absolute labour of love and the NTNA, their players and management should be very proud of the fantastic season they put on during 2021.
A couple of weeks ago, the Northern Tasmania Softball Association opened their season for the year and I spent time at the Churchill Park diamond. As Patron of the organisation, it was a privilege to throw the first ball on Saturday morning during the men’s game between the Eagles and Saints.
Softball is a growing sport in northern Tasmania and the number of teams across the men’s, women’s and juniors is expanding.
The Eagles and the Saints, two of the biggest clubs in the league, are always looking for more players, so if you are keen to play or just try out, head to Churchill Park on Saturdays to see what it’s all about. There is no cost to watch and games for this season start at 9 am for men, 11 am for juniors, 1pm and 3pm for open women. I know everyone would make you very welcome.
It isn’t really summer if we don’t mention cricket with teams now launching their seasons. It is great to attend the launches and see the enthusiasm and mateship of players, young and older, raring to go and start another season irrespective of whether they won last year or were further down the ladder. I am sure it is particularly pleasing for coaches to see some of their players elevated to the Greater Northern Raiders team. We have many skilled and talented cricketers in northern Tasmania and I look forward to attending numerous games during the season.
Last, but definitely not least, the lawn bowls season has opened. With lots of clubs around and people of all ages playing, there is sure to be one in your area. Club members are friendly and hospitable and I know would love to welcome you. If you can’t manage cricket, netball or softball, why not give bowls a try.
While my skill limit is poor, I still enjoy having a bowl during our Parliamentary Bowls tournament each year, with fortunately the emphasis being on having fun rather than winning.
When it comes to sport in northern Tasmania, there is truly something for everybody. No matter your fitness level or taste in sports, the only thing that matters is that you want to have a go and get involved. We are so lucky to have so many great teams and volunteers who take their own time to organize the teams and rosters. It has never been easier to get out there, make friends and get fit. What are you waiting for?
Rosemary Armitage MLC