Two local high school boys netball teams have the chance to be state champions as they take part in this year’s coveted Origin Energy Vicki Wilson Championship.
The boys netball teams, from Bundaberg State High School and Shalom College, will go head to head against some of the state’s best when they compete at the beginning of next month.
Shalom College boys netball coach Kylee Johnstone said boys netball had become quite popular, and the school team had won the Wide Bay region Vicki Wilson Competition, which gave them entry to the championship.
“Boys netball is huge all around Australia at the moment and netball Queensland are really pushing it,” Kylee said.
“We put the idea to our boys and had enough interest. We started training four months ago and haven’t looked back.”
Kylee said much of the interest to take part in netball for the Shalom boys came from playing other sports.
“Shalom boys have had a fantastic transition into netball with a background in oz tag, AFL and basketball,” Kylee said.
“I am amazed by their athleticism and ball skills.
“Our boys all take the responsibility of representing Shalom college as a great honour.”
Kylee said this year Shalom boys played at QISSN, which was unfortunately cut short due to Brisbane lock down.
“They were one of the top two teams there with four boys making the all-star selection team,” she said.
“We can’t wait to participate in this state comp – it’s a very prestigious comp and we can’t wait to show them how hard we have trained and our awesome skills.”
Bundaberg High boys netball team keen
Bundaberg State High School boys netball team, coached by Melanie Currie and managed by Carolyn Young, have played in two competitions this year.
The first competition was a round robin competition that ran alongside the girls’ Vicki Wilson Wide Bay North Cluster Round in May.
At the end of last term, the boys played their second competition when they participated in the inaugural Cooper Cup competition in Hervey Bay against other Year 9 and 10 boys’ and girls’ teams.
She said not including school PE, these two competitions were the first “real” netball games the boys had played.
“In 2020 one of our junior boys expressed an interest to play in the BDSSS Interschool Netball Competition,” she said.
“He was not the first to express such an interest!”
It was at the end of last year during the netball planning meetings both Carolyn and Melanie expressed the desire to develop boys netball.
“When the 2021 nomination process opened, we didn’t have to wait long, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of boys that registered their interest,” Melanie said.
“We had nominations from boys from Year 7 through to Year 12, but as time went on we were only able to sustain a Year 9, 10 and 12 team.
“We have already had more boys express an interest in playing netball in 2022.”
“The structure and organisation of school sport changed in 2021 and this gave the boys the opportunity to play netball.
“Currently, there a limited opportunities for men’s netball across the region, which is something we really would like to see change.
“I’m not sure whether the boys would choose to play netball as their weekend sport. We’ll just have to see.”
Melanie said netball was not the first sport for any of the boys, as they all played a range of different sports including basketball, touch, futsal, hockey and soccer.
“The boys, and we as coaches, are all very excited but feeling nervous at the same time,” Melanie said.
“When I shared the news with the boys that 26 school teams had registered their interest and that Netball Queensland were only choosing six to compete, the boys were convinced we would not be selected.
“When I told the boys the exciting news that we had been selected they were elated.”
Made up of Year 10 students, the Bundaberg State High School team will be one of the youngest teams to compete in the Vicki Wilson Championship.
“Many of our Bundy High boys have represented at various levels before in their dominant sport but this is a different sport and a huge opportunity for the boys and Bundy High,” Melanie said.
“As their coach, I am proud of them for their dedication and determination.
“We would definitely fit into the underdog category, but I know the boys will give their best to showcase netball.”
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