Cash-strapped Netball Australia to receive funding, less than half of what was promised

Cash-strapped Netball Australia to receive funding, less than half of what was promised
  • PublishedJune 7, 2024

Cash-strapped Netball Australia (NA) has been offered a fresh financial lifeline just weeks after the sport’s governing body appointed Diamonds star Liz Ellis to its board.

The $6 million funding deal, hailed as a major step forward for the code, is set to be announced by Sports Minister Anika Wells alongside players from the national team in Brisbane on Friday.

Ms Wells said the funding was a testament to the government’s commitment to women’s sport ahead of the 2027 Netball World Cup.

A headshot of Liz Ellis commentating on TV during a Super Netball game.
Former star player Liz Ellis joined the board of Netball Australia three weeks ago.(AAP: Jason O’Brien)

“Netball plays a key role in the community, particularly in rural areas and is visible inspiration for young women and girls to live healthier lives,” she said.

But the cash injection is less than half of the $18 million ripped from the sport just last November over concerns that it would not be appropriately spent. However, the government said it was open to revisiting the decision in the future. 

It’s understood both NA and the government view the $6 million as a first step in repairing relations that strained under the sport’s former leadership.

The sport at the time was also facing controversy over a bitter dispute with players about a pay deal that left them without wages for months. 

But, the government now views the sport as being back on track. It follows the appointment of Ms Ellis as chair of the board and former player and longtime NA administrator executive Stacey West as chief executive.

The pair were both in Canberra last week and held several meetings with MPs, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The funding is set to be put aside for the World Cup, due to be held in Sydney in 2027, where the Diamonds will attempt to defend their title.

It will be more than a decade since Australia hosted the last championship.

The landmark event will mark 100 years of Netball in Australia and the government says the $6 million investment will be a significant contribution to the event.

Ms Ellis, who stepped into the role just three weeks ago, thanked the government for their “ongoing support” to make the World Cup the “greatest ever”.

Diamonds captain Liz Watson said the World Cup would be a “pivotal moment” for the sport both domestically and internationally.

“The federal government’s support will help to ensure it is a landmark event for netball in Australia and inspires the next generation of Australia Diamonds,” she said.

Netball has the highest participation numbers for women and girls in sport.


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