Men’s and Mixed Netball

‘We’re ready to break through’: AMMNA

Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association is ready to claim its Stake in the Game and work directly with Netball Australia to fulfil all recommendations laid out by the State of the Game review led by legend Liz Ellis.

Over the past few months, there’s been plenty of discussion around men’s and mixed netball.

Olympics Brisbane 2032 is on the horizon where, it is hoped, Australia will showcase netball by allocating it as a fully fledged medal event, meanwhile, the men’s game garnered national press in Queensland.

Now, AMMNA president Andrew Simons is ready to help build the pathways for the millions of boys and men who have taken up netball over the past decade alongside the game’s governing body.

[Stake in the Game] is really the response to the State of the Game. The State of the Game project released eight recommendations of which they specifically referenced AMMNA and men’s netball as whole as part of those recommendations. This is really AMMNA’s response of how we can be involved and how we can assist both Netball Australia but also the sport as a whole in terms of achieving those goals of inclusivity and really being a sport for all,” he said.

“What it’s mostly around is navigating the growing space for men within netball and addressing some of that popularity that men’s netball is really gaining in the community at large.

“We’ve had a product for about 30 years or so. It’s sort of time. That’s really what Stake of the Game is all about. It’s about responding to this growing portal in the community.

“We’re mapping the goals that we’re putting in place in that response to really help try and foster and even greatest space of our game both within the Australian level, but also our member organisations in the states and  the ADF. But it’s also getting further and further grassroots reach as we possibly can to help build a sound foundation of our game.”

Men’s and Mixed Netball in Australia has a Nationals event each year where thousands of athletes transcend to a city to play for a week – often the only exposure these players will get in an elite pathway.

While the event has been cancelled the past two years due to COVID-19, England Men’s and Mixed Netball Association ran its first event recently and New Zealand Men’s and Mixed Netball Association will feature in the Cadbury Series alongside Silver Ferns.

Dr Simons said men playing or being involved is not uncommon in netball.

“Our men have been involved in the women’s side of the sport for a long time as either umpires or coaches but also now as training partners both privately but also as publicly open training partners for the different SSN teams,” he said.

“Men’s netball is a lot more renowned and I think anyone who’s seen our national championships can really sort of vouch for the quality of play that we have in our players.”

Dr Simons believes by being creative and finding new ways to involve men and keep them within the sport, his relationship with strategy leader, Heath Brown will go a long way to making the Stake in the Game project a success.

“I’m pretty blessed with the executive that I’ve got. I think we work very well together and I think we are blending our different attributes and strengths together,” he said.

“The Stake In The Game project’s really been driven by our strategy lead, Heath Brown, who’s got a background in his non-netball life within strategy as well.

“One of the things that I’m really lucky to have in terms of the executive are background skillsets that really lend themselves to each of their own individual roles.

“This has brought significantly, professional, outside strengths to the executive that they’re sharing with the sport that they love to help drive it forwards. I’m really lucky that I’ve got people like Heath to assist in this project to really drive it forwards with his strategies, knowledge and background.”

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