A celebration of six decades of netball for Ferntree Gully

Celebrating 60 years of Netball, the Ferntree Gully Netball Club is hosting a community day February, 18. picture: supplied by Heyley Mettes

By Gabriella Vukman

Celebrating their 60th anniversary, Ferntree Gully Netball Club is hosting a community day on 18 February.

This event will run at the Ferntree Gully Netball Club from 11am-1pm and while there will be a mixture of past and current club members along with their families, all are welcome to join in the festivities.

Head coach, umpire and netball player Heyley Mettes said, “I’ve been at the club for 16 years. When I was in primary school all of my best friend’s sisters played at Ferntree Gully and so that’s where I started and I haven’t looked back since.”

“The club over the past couple of years has seen some really big growth, we’ve always been one of the largest clubs at Mountain District and this year we’ve just ticked over 260 players. Approximately 29 teams.”

“Which is probably the largest we have been in our history so that’s really exciting,” Heyley said.

Sunday’s celebrations will host a range of activities, kicking off with a colour fun run, an ice cream truck, barbecue and an exhibition match between the current A-grade team and members of the previous A-grade teams over the years.

“We will be announcing our team of the decade, and volunteer of the decade. It’s going to be great,” Heyley said.

“I think what makes Ferntree Gully really special is the ability to make lifelong friendships but also develop relationships between players that might not be the same age.

“Especially in our open age groups we have such a variety of ages and it is really exciting to see individuals developing the ability to play and then to become role models who influence the younger players.”

A guest appearance and Q and A with a Suncorp Super Netball player will also feature among the day’s activities.

“The last couple of years the club has been really focused on improving not only the professionalism of the club but the inclusiveness of the club and we’ve worked towards improving and developing the program,” Heyley said.

“We squad train instead of training individually so while some of the players might not be in the same team as their friends, they get to train with their friends.”

Grass root netball clubs provide players with the opportunity to progress through the Netball Victoria pathway.

“Whilst we have had players that have progressed to the state team as well as those who have been awarded badges from Suncorp Super Netball, our club also provides players with important life skills such as team-work, communication and ability to take on feedback,” Heyley said.

“Ferntree Gully Netball Club also teaches players the importance of giving back to their community.”