Come and try ... netball with the Rambler Netball Club
Zoe Fullgrabe and her daughter Zara invite you to play Net Set Go netball with Ramblers in Murray Bridge.
On a sunny Sunday morning at Le Messurier Oval, women and girls are filing in and out of a shed which stands beneath a row of Aleppo pine trees.
Summer is in full swing, but winter is on its way, and in winter, they wear red.
It’s uniform day at Murray Bridge’s Rambler Netball Club.
Player registrations have closed, officially, but it’s not too late to get involved, especially if you or your daughter are thinking about getting playing netball for the first time.
The club will run Net Set Go this season, an eight-week program for kids aged five to 10 who haven’t played before, likely in term two sometime.
Here to talk about it are Zoe Fullgrabe and – for a minute at least, before she runs off to catch up with a friend – her daughter Zara.
When did you first start playing netball?
Zoe: We’re new to the area, but within a few (netball game) days, Zara was off with a group of friends. It’s really good for (kids) ... I’ve been playing since I was five. I started playing for school, for Highgate Primary, then moved to Stirling when I was nine and was there until three years ago. I had a year off, had Jade, then we came to Ramblers last year.
What do you get out of it?
Zara: It’s fun. Most of my friends come from my school, but (I’ve made friends here, too).
Zoe: It’s like a second family, especially if you find that club that’s right for you. You end up playing your juniors, your seniors. I ended up coaching and umpiring (at Stirling) – my whole day was netball-affiliated and I loved it. The girls I coached would end up coming to my game in the afternoon, then we’d all end up at the pub with the parents. Here (in the River Murray association), with football and netball at the same venue all day, you have no fear of letting your kids run off and play all day. As a parent, it’s great.
What has been the greatest achievement of your netball career so far?
Zoe: As a netballer ... my first season at Stirling we ended up winning the premiership in A grade and I had both of my kids on the sidelines cheering me on. As a coach … my favourite thing is coaching little kids, under-nines and 11s. They’re so eager to learn, so eager to be here, they listen to everything you say and seeing them succeed (is awesome). I had one girl who spent the whole season running away from the ball – she was so scared. But by the end of the season she was running towards the ball, shooting goals; she ended up having so much confidence and she was the loudest one at training. It was great to see.
How did you go last season, and what will you be doing differently this season?
Zoe: We went awesome last year. Because of COVID, all my girls last year were newbies, they were starting fresh. We only ended up losing one game all season and one at the carnival. My girls came from three different primary schools, but they just jelled so nicely. It was nice to see, during the season, how their friendships developed, and their social skills and their netball skills … We’re doing Net Set Go this season, so if you’ve got a sibling in an older age group with a younger sibling ... they can both get involved. Younger girls have often got that skill ahead (of time) if they’ve got an older sibling who plays, because they’ve been helping them out. Jade here, by the time she’s four or five she’ll be ready to get out there. Then by the time they’re seven years old they’ll be ready to get out there in minis and get into a game. They get confidence in running, throwing and catching so that by the time they’re in a game, in the cold, against another team, they won’t be afraid.
What do you hope to achieve as a netball coach?
Zoe: We have seven returning (minis players) and three newbies. I hope to keep our skill level going from last year, and that our returnees play a leadership role with our newbies and are super supportive and inclusive.
Why should people come and play netball?
Zoe: We’ve got a bunch of new people on our committee and we’re trying to make really good, positive changes, to have a big junior support system, and to emphasise fun-oriented club-ness. We’ve got so many good programs coming up.
Zara: After our last carnival Mum said “if we win all the matches we’ll get slime” and we did.
Zoe: We try to keep it fun for them.
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