- Occupation Sporting Organisation
The ACT Women’s Basketball Association was formed in the early 1940s, with junior and senior teams from both the ACT and neighbouring New South Wales. In 1975, Netball ACT was admitted as a member of the All Australia Netball Association Limited (now Netball Australia). Netball ACT has several District Associations which are autonomous organisations with their own headquarters and netball courts, and is represented in the Australian Netball League by the Canberra Darters.
Until 1970 in Australia, netball was known as women’s basketball, and the ACT Women’s Basketball Association was formed in the early 1940s. While netball was played earlier than this in the ACT, mainly between school teams, this was the first formal association. The Association was affiliated with the New South Wales Women’s Basketball Association (now Netball NSW).
Early venues included Telopea Park High School, Acton Flats and grounds in Turner, with Southwell Park in Lyneham becoming the eventual home of the ACT Netball Centre. By the 1950s many senior and primary school teams, including some from Queanbeyan in neighbouring NSW had joined the Association. Teams also travelled interstate to compete in inter-district competitions and carnivals. Up to and during the 1970s, representative teams played against sides from England, Singapore, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.
With the approval of Netball NSW, the ACT Association was divided into the Canberra Netball Association and the South Canberra Netball Association in 1970, to cater to the growing number of players. In 1975, Netball ACT was admitted as a member of the All Australia Netball Association Limited (now Netball Australia). This move was supported by Netball NSW, and required a change to Netball Australia’s constitution, allowing Territories to be admitted. Mrs Marj McMahon was the first President of Netball ACT, and Jo Grimsley its first Patroness. The first Netball ACT coach was Adele Pight.
Netball ACT has several District Associations which are autonomous organisations with their own headquarters and netball courts. These include: the Arawang, Belconnen, Canberra, South Canberra and Tuggeranong Netball Associations.
In 2008, Netball ACT entered its first National team, the Canberra Darters in the inaugural year of the Australian Netball League (ANL). This was the first year that Netball ACT had competed independently from Australian Institute of Sport teams, and the team continues to improve their results with each season.
From its humble beginning as an affiliate of the larger New South Wales Women’s Basketball Association, Netball ACT has grown into a large parent body with its own sub-associations and national representative teams.
- History of Netball ACT, http://act.netball.asn.au/extra.asp?id=133&OrgID=4&menu=258
- From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, 2013, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/ldkg