THE Wonthaggi and District Netball Association will celebrate 80 years of netball this Saturday, May 6 at the Wonthaggi Netball Courts.
The association’s first matches were played on Saturday, April 30, 1937, back when the association was known as the Wonthaggi Basketball Association and netball was known as basketball.
Matches were played around town with grand finals played at the Wonthaggi Tech School, before eight netball courts were officially opened in 1965 and named after Emily Seymour, who was a hardworking founding member of the association and a driving force behind the courts.
In 1970 the association’s name was changed to the Wonthaggi and District Netball Association to avoid confusion, and catered for junior and senior netballers.
In the late 1970s, Wonthaggi Blues and Wonthaggi Rovers started netball sides which followed the footy sides, and although many players from the association joined these sides, the association remained very strong for many years.
Lighting was installed in 1992 to enable twilight matches and the courts have been resurfaced four times, with the recently completed development lifting the standard of the courts.
The association now has a Saturday competition for juniors, Net Set Go program for youngsters, a mixed competition on Sundays, a spring competition for years seven to nine and night netball competition.
The juniors are still very strong with about 200 kids playing in the Saturday competition.
This Saturday will be a time to reminisce about the history of the association and get a glimpse of the modern day juniors with matches from 10am until 2pm.
Past players and life members are invited for afternoon tea at 2pm.
If anyone has any memorabilia please bring it along on the day and existing memorabilia will be donated to the Wonthaggi Historical Society.
Wonthaggi Netball celebrates 80 years