International Tests

Surprise chance for netball ahead of 2026 Commonwealth Games

OPINION: After two years of lockdowns and lots of missed sport, Victorians like myself woke up to an exciting prospect – Melbourne could be handed the 2026 Commonwealth Games because other nations don’t want it.

Another epic Bradbury moment for Aussies. But with the surprise announcement comes an even greater chance for netball as a sport – showcasing the game BEFORE the Olympics arrives in 2032.

Not Fast5, NETBALL.

One of the biggest knocks to Olympic inclusion, so far, has been that there’s not enough male players to sustain a tournament. While, there is a long way to go to develop this part of netball, I think we could have at least six to eight men’s teams fighting it out in 2026 – even if just a showcase for no medals.

If netball, as a sport, could prove that there is enough participation globally (I mean, there’s 20 million of us and countless more in mixed comps who go uncounted) then surely the International Olympic Committee has to take notice.

Make no mistake, this is firmly on Netball Australia, Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association and both the Victorian and Queensland Governments to make happen.

As England continues to rise through the ranks of world netball, it is no longer a Diamonds certainty for a win let alone a title. These spectacles must be shared with the world.

The athletes in these matches deserve their limelight but the sport must get it there.

We’ve been handed a huge chance, we should not miss.

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