Love and Pride for the Australian Netball Team
The Diamonds, Australia’s national netball team, is a force to be reckoned with in the world of netball. It is regarded as the most successful netball team on the planet, having won 10 of the 13 World Netball Championships. It is the current world champion and ranks first in the International Netball Federation World Rankings.
The Australian netball team was formed in 1938, but it only adopted the nickname “Diamonds” in 2008 to put itself in line with the other Australian national women’s teams such as the Opals (basketball), the Pearls (rugby sevens), the Sapphires (bowls), and the Emeralds (baseball). The running theme is pretty obvious and quite fitting, too. These women’s teams are true gems in the Australian field of sports, after all.
The Diamonds is managed by Netball Australia and is composed of players selected from Australian ANZ Championship franchises. Right now, Melbourne is happy to see a few past and present Vixens and Victoria natives in the team. Some of them are Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Caitlyn Nevins, Caitlin Thwaites, Kate Moloney, Kate Eddy, and Emma Ryde.
A number of them were part of the Fast5 Flyers, Australia’s representative to the World Netball Series. The Fast5 Flyers was initially made up of Diamond test players, but through the years, it has chosen to mix up youthful and experienced players to represent the country.
Melbourne was happy to see the latest set of Fast5 Flyers in action in the home court. The city had the recent pride and pleasure of hosting the 7th World Netball Series at the Hisense Arena, the first time the event was held on Australian soil. Melbourne netballers were thrilled to see the Flyers deliver a stellar performance in the two-day netball event where they placed second overall.
This branch of the Australian netball team has come second to the New Zealand team for the past three years. The Diamonds may rule regular netball, but NZ’s Fast5 Ferns has dominated the World Series in its thus far short history. It’s important to rally behind the Flyers to demonstrate the netball community’s confidence and belief in its players.
It might also help to mainstream this faster-paced variation and give more netballers opportunity to play it. Melbourne Social Netball aims to do just that as it provides Fast5 games to players who want to try it out. In case you’re in the habit of catching games at the Richmond Recreation Centre, Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre, Melbourne High School, Flagstaff Gardens, and Ryan’s Reserve, don’t be confused if the match seems faster and shorter.
There are many ways local netball communities can support the Diamonds. By generating enthusiasm for Fast5 Netball, they can manifest encouragement directed specifically toward the Flyers segment of the national team.