THE Junior netballers are currently relishing every chance they get to play, but for some teams the weekend’s fixtures were particularly special.
The Surf Coast Suns Under 13 netballers launched the club’s Indigenous dresses when they took to the courts on Saturday.
The dresses are part of the club’s Indigenous Awareness Program. They were designed by local artist and Wagiman man Nathan Patterson, who has previously designed Indigenous guernseys for multiple AFL teams.
Surf Coast Suns vice president of netball Amber Potter said the dress was indicative of wider ethos the club looks to embrace.
“Our club thrives on being inclusive, which is why the dress was designed. Creating a dress that showcases the rich history and skill of our Indigenous people we hope will create conversations around the importance of our Indigenous communities, both locally and Australia wide.
“The dress is so beautiful and when things are a bit more normal we hope to launch it properly and invite along some key and relevant community members to talk about the significance and importance of our local lands and environment.”
The dress was initially set to be launched by the Under 19 team in the first round of the season. However, the Bellarine Netball League would eventually cancel the Under 19 division along with the senior divisions.
In the Under 17 Division Modewarre handily beat Surf Coast Juc 25-2.
Both Torquay Scott and Torquay Jacobsen won by comfortable margins, but Torquay Wakefield narrowly lost to Bell Park Dragons 16-13.
In the Under 15 division Modewarre bested Surf Coast Roadknight 18-12.
Four of the five Torquay sides in the division registered wins, with Surf Coast Whites denying Torquay a clean sweep by defeating Torquay Pyers by a single point.
Two of the three Surf Coast Suns Under 13 teams won while playing in their Indigenous dresses, including Surf Coast Cosy registering a thrilling 11-10 win over Modewarre 2.
Potter said she was pleased with the level of participation and hoped the juniors could continue to play.
“For the first time, this season we have registered over 100 young people to play netball with The Suns. This is a major achievement for our small netball committee, something we are extremely proud about.
“Let’s hope the season continues. Right now sport is so very important for the wellbeing of children and young adults.”