Victoria University and major partner Netball Victoria are helping address a shortage of netball facilities and programs in Melbourne’s west through a new program, Western Netball.
VU’s four-court Community Sport Stadium at Whitten Oval will become Western Netball’s home from February 2015 under a five-year agreement aimed at bringing premier netball competition to the region.
While about 110,000 currently people play netball in Victoria, few of the state’s 643 netball facilities are located in Melbourne’s west.
Western Netball will include Tuesday night competitions for junior grades, as well as open grades for competitive, social and mixed teams, in addition to coaching and umpiring courses, and school holiday clinics.
VU’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Industry, Community and Sport Engagement Professor Michelle Towstoless said VU – which already has a strong tradition of supporting netball – was delighted with its expanding association with Netball Victoria.
In addition to its important partnership with Melbourne Vixens, VU has many links to local and state teams, as well as to junior development programs including the VU Netball Academy, now in its fifth year.
VU teams have also medalled 14 times in the last decade at the Australian University Games, and several VU students and alumni competed in netball for Australia or other countries at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"Western Netball is an important program for the development of sporting potential, community enrichment and the University’s student work-integrated-learning in the region," Professor Towstoless said.
"It is also integral to VU’s strategy to become Australia’s Sport University, and to offer the most comprehensive range of sport education, research and performance opportunities in the country."
Netball Victoria CEO Michelle Plane said she was pleased the partnership provided opportunities to increase the profile of netball in the rapidly growing western suburbs.
VU’s Community Sports Stadium, located at 417 Barkly Street, West Footscray, is owned by the Western Bulldogs AFL Club and managed by VU.
Note: Victoria University and Netball Victoria had a long-standing partnership until August 2018.