Junior Netball Academy

The Victoria University Junior Netball Academy is a sport development program for junior netballers (female and male) to train at an elite level. You can gain access to state-of-the art sport facilities, extensive netball sporting networks and coaching experience.

The Academy was established in 2010 to address a shortage in sport development and competition opportunities for young athletes in Melbourne's west. Netball legend Bianca Chatfield is the Academy's head coach.

It is based at VU’s four court Community Stadium at Whitten Oval.

Benefits of participating


The Netball Academy is an important stepping stone for many girls and boys as they work towards selection in a Victorian Netball League (VNL) team.

The Academy targets athletes in the 13, 15, 17 and 19 & under age brackets.

Participants benefit from:

  • specialist monthly coaching sessions
  • strength and conditioning sessions
  • access to the Victoria University Aquatic and fitness centres
  • allied health services: osteopathy, nutritional therapy and massage
  • Victoria University course information and pathways.

VU Netball Academy staff and coaches encourage athletes to play for their club or association team while also participating in VU Netball Academy on-court sessions.

Bianca Chatfield: Head coach


Bianca Chatfield with junior netballers

The Academy is delighted to welcome Bianca Chatfield, a well-known netballer with a distinguished 13-year international career.

Bianca was selected to the Australian netball team in 2001 as an 18-year-old (one of the youngest players to represent her country).

She has played on the Australian Diamonds team for Commonwealth Games silver in 2006 and gold in 2014.

She’s also played in more than 240 games for Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Vixens, captaining the Vixens club for several years.

How to apply


2017 Junior Netball Academy

Applications open in October. You can apply directly to Jessica Harrington (contact details on this page). The selectors will choose applicants based on quality and attitude.

In 2017 we have 85 athletes in the program. Anyone in the relevant age brackets can apply, regardless of location.

Trials

Trials are held each November for the Academy the following year. 

Western Netball program

The Community Stadium at Whitten Oval has also been home to Western Netball since 2015, under a 5-year agreement with partner Netball Victoria.

Western Netball includes:

  • Tuesday night competitions for junior grades
  • open grades for competitive, social and mixed teams
  • coaching and umpiring courses
  • school holiday clinics.

Netball partnership – Melbourne Vixens

As a leading sport university, in addition to this successful sport development program, we also have a major partnership with the Melbourne Vixens.

Elite athletes & sport scholarships

The Academy has produced a number of athletes selected for state and Australian representation in netball. Many participants have moved through the program into study at VU and then gain the experience of representing the University at inter-university competitions.

Our sport scholarships and elite athlete support program assist outstanding VU athletes to balance study with the demands of elite level sport. The scholarships also assist emerging student athletes in their aim to perform at the elite sporting level.

We have three sport scholarships available to current students:

Browse some of our sport and exercise courses.

Contact us

Contact: Jessica Harrington, Community Engagement Coordinator, VU Sport for more information.

Email: jessica.harrington@vu.edu.au