Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Pre-season competition hopes to attract best netball teams

Rochester Netball Club will host a new competition in March and is hoping to get clubs from throughout the district involved.

GEORDIE COWAN December 17, 2012 4:49am

Elmore-Lockington and Rochester Community Bank senior branch manager Tracie Kyne and tournament director Jacinda Rasmussen launched the Community Bank Rochester Netball Invitational on Thursday.

Jacinda Rasmussen hopes to see the best netball teams from across the district attend a new pre-season competition at Rochester in March.

The Community Bank Rochester Netball Invitational will take place on March 24, just one week before the start of the Goulburn Valley Football League season and hopes to attract teams from throughout country Victoria, including the Goulburn Valley, Bendigo, Murray, Loddon Valley and Picola and Heathcote district leagues.

Perfectly located between Bendigo and Shepparton, tournament organiser Meagan Keating sees it as an ideal time and place for such an event.

‘‘We think it is quite unique,’’ she said.

‘‘We don’t believe it has been done before.

‘‘What better way to start the season than with (Goulburn Valley winner) Kyabram taking on (Bendigo winner) Eaglehawk, or Echuca v Echuca United?’’

Clubs can enter teams in open and 17 and under grades, with the winners to receive $500 each.

‘‘We are taking the opportunity to use Rochester’s great netball centre for the clubs to play each other in a one-day tournament,’’ Keating said.

‘‘It will give clubs a chance to participate in a round-robin, it will give opportunities for umpires to be seen and developed further.

‘‘We are also working with Netball Victoria with regards to other initiatives, such as coaching, mentoring and talent identifications.’’

Keating said if they received too many entries, the tournament committee would select the best teams based on last year’s performances.

Tournament director Jacinda Rasmussen said Rochester Netball Club, who teamed up the Elmore/Lockington and Rochester Community Bank to initiate the event, was excited about the day, especially the junior development aspect.

‘‘We are hoping to get some talent scouts there,’’ she said.

‘‘We hope to display the talent that we have.’’

A ‘piggy shootout’ would be held at 10am for the club’s Net Set Go players, who would then be encouraged to watch the bigger players go about their business.

The concept of the event came about after the netball courts were resurfaced after the floods in January 2011.

‘‘After it was flooded, we had a lot of the Rochester community members get behind the courts and help their redevelopment,’’ she said.

‘‘We thought we might as well put the courts on display as well as drawing people into the Rochester community and give the town a boost as well.

‘‘We are just excited to have it all happen because we have so much support locally and we hope to receive that from the surrounding netball clubs.’’

Expressions of interest for the event can be made to Rasmussen on 0407 308 336.

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