Former Australian Diamonds netball star Clare McMeniman visited Jilkminggan School this week as part of the 2017 Australia Post One Netball Community Award.
The Katherine Netball Association was one of eight winners from across Australia, recognised for its members’ work in encouraging and embracing players from the remote Jilkminggan School.
Jilkminggan School is about 150 kilometres away from Katherine and the association made every effort to ensure that the players were warmly received at the local junior competition.
This included making modifications around registration processes due to the remote location of the players and arranging flexible match scheduling to suit the needs of the student teams.
A special visit from Ms McMeniman meant the students at Jilkminggan School spent time with a netball star talking about their future ambitions and running through drills and netball activities.
Ms McMeniman said that while the standard and quality of all nominations was very impressive, the Katherine Netball Association’s inclusive work in the local community is particularly important.
“I found it really inspirational to read all the fantastic work being done by Katherine Netball Association. They are certainly breaking down barriers in the community through netball – connecting people in a shared interest of our game, regardless of location, background or ability, which is what it's all about,” Ms McMeniman said.
More than 50 students from as young as four were involved in the day’s netball games.
Community members, parents and students from Mataranka joined Jilkminggan School for the Australia Post One Netball Community Award ceremony, presented Ms McMeniman.
Ms McMeniman also signed posters and hats to present to students at the end of the week as an attendance reward.
Australia Post general manager marketing and community Andrea Pearman said Australia Post is committed to contributing to more inclusive communities throughout Australia.
“It’s a privilege to be involved in celebrating the wonderful contributions of Katherine Netball Association and I have no doubt their efforts will inspire others,” Ms Pearman said.
While the Jilkminggan students enjoy the local competition in Katherine and meeting fellow netballers, the benefits of their participation extend beyond the courts.
The students are striving to improve their school attendance and behaviour to ensure they can travel and play each week.