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Hunter Netball celebrates success of inaugural Summer Series

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The success of the inaugural Hunter Netball Summer Series will ensure the competition remains on the sporting calendar for some time to come.

Players from throughout the region took part in the specially-designed eight-round format, which was hosted by Newcastle, Charlestown and Lakeside associations from October to December.

Coalfields claimed the honours in the KBA Insurance Repairs-sponsored women’s division one, upsetting the highly-fancied Newcastle 43-37.

Division two winners, Newcastle.

The latter, however, triumphed over Charlestown Blue 34-29 to snare division two.

It was an all-Newcastle affair in mixed, with 1 reaping the spoils, 49-23, from 2.

A week earlier, the men went into battle.

On that occasion, after playing out a 41-all draw, Charlestown Red and Newcastle were declared joint winners.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the response,” Hunter Netball president Jodi Cassar said.

“It can only get bigger and better from here.

“It’s the first time we’ve tried to stage a tournament after the regular playing season for association teams from across the Hunter.

“In the end, we had two women’s divisions, as well as mixed and men’s to grow the participation of netball in those categories.

“Netball NSW conducts a similar competition… but you have to travel to Sydney.

“So, we’re trying to replicate that in the Hunter by providing a pathway for our athletes and bringing talented youngsters together for skill development, for example.

“The plan is to run a Summer Series each year moving forward.”

Mixed division winners, Newcastle 1.

Cassar said it was a “really good outcome” for local umpires as well.

“A lot of them – across the region – don’t get an opportunity to officiate high-level standard of matches, depending on their home association,” she told the Newcastle Weekly.

“So, the Summer Series gave them a chance to develop, too.

“They learnt from National A badged umpires, who are located in the region.

“We also badged a couple of National B this year, as a part of the program, which was a fantastic result.

“My thanks go to Makayla, Hayley, Mia, Naomi, Peta and Jess, who officiated the grand finals.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to our sponsors, Purnells Awards & Apparel, too, for donating all the trophies and medals, as well as team officials and spectators for their support.”

Cassar praised Coalfields, a team from the Maitland Netball Association, for securing their maiden title.

“It was great to see one of our ‘regional’ sides take out division one in our first year,” she said.

“The idea of the Summer Series wasn’t to focus solely on Newcastle; it’s about the broader netball community throughout the Hunter.

“We have a lot of talented players in the region.

“And, a tournament like this showcases that.

“We look forward to seeing everyone, and welcoming even more people, in 2023.”

2022 KBA Insurance Repairs Hunter Netball Summer Series

  • Women’s division 1: winners, Coalfields; runners up, Newcastle
  • Women’s division 2: winners, Newcastle; runners up, Charlestown Blue
  • Mixed division: winners, Newcastle 1; runners up, Newcastle 2
  • Men’s division: joint winners, Charlestown Red, Newcastle

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