Hard courts prove popular
THE Central Burnett Netball Challenge was hosted in Gayndah at the weekend and the newly made hard courts proved popular with players and coaches for a variety of reasons.
Gayndah under 10s coach Chris Duncan said it had been a long time coming to finally get hard courts built after a grant was approved by council last year.
"I'd say it was almost 20 years after we had made our first application,” Duncan said.
"We would love to see four courts here next but for now these two new courts have been great and the players love it.”
Gayndah player Lilly Tuituri echoed the sentiments of Duncan and said that the courts were an improvement in almost every way.
"It does make a lot of things easier to do,” Lilly said.
Lilly has been playing netball since she was five years old, now 14, and never had a chance to play on regular hard courts outside of the school ground.
"I really like that we have them to play on now,” Lilly said.
"I just think they are very helpful, it really is easier in all aspects of the game and makes it easier to do the things you are trying to do.”
Duncan also spoke about some of the advantages to finally having hard courts for the players.
"The grass courts are much slower for one,” Duncan said.
"And when the players would go off to other carnivals they would be playing on hard courts so this has made that an easier transition for them.
"and our younger players, 10 and under, never had a chance to play much because they weren't catered for in other areas so having the courts here has allowed them to keep involved.”
The Central Burnett Netball Challenge has been running for almost two decades and was created in response to that competition shortage.
"We decided one day why not try and get us, Mundubbera and Monto together to have our own carnival and that was way back when my girls were still playing,” Duncan said.
"I'd say almost 18 years or so.
"And this way the young ones play more too and they really do love it.”
Duncan also said it wasn't too late to get involved in this season if any youngsters were eager to have a go at netball.
"People tend to think once the season starts they can't join in but we are open for joining all through the season,” Duncan said.
The Gayndah Netball Association submitted an application for funds in October last year and knew that having access to both grass and hard courts would afford them the chance to play more netball.
The next step will be better lighting for the courts.