Analysing Men. Why Not? Says Sue Gaudion

You often hear her voice before you catch sight of her. She’s vivacious, intelligent, and humorous, and she knows her netball, because she’s pretty much done it all.

Sue-GaudionSue Gaudion has played, coached and umpired netball for most of her life. But you’d know, if you’ve watched netball on TV at any time in the past decade, that she now commentates. The voice and blinding blonde hair that once called the shots from the coaching bench, at the Perth Orioles, West Coast Fever, A.I.S and Australian 21U program, now holds court with a microphone in hand.

Sue calls a spade a spade, and she’d never ask you for forgiveness. Her analysis is succinct and spot on – a confidence that won’t lose its shine in what she will bring to the table as the lead commentator for the 2017 Australian Mens and Mixed Netball Association (AMMNA) Championships.

“I promise to bring my honest approach to commentary. No one is safe!” Sue said.

As the female arm of the sport enjoys yet another surge in popularity in Australia, on the back of the new Suncorp Super Netball competition, so is the men’s game. Every year over the past decade of the Australian Championships the amount of teams in the tournament has increased. This year a record 40 teams will take part, including new teams via the ACT Griffins and also some international flavour from across the ditch, with a junior side from New Zealand.

For the first time in the Championships’ 33-year history the event will be live streamed, and Sue arms didn’t require too much twisting to get her on board.

“Saying ‘Yes’ was pretty easy. The athleticism and speed of the game (will be what) excites me the most.”

For AMMNA, live streaming is a risk. A calculated risk. It’s also not cheap, but they are well aware it is a step in the right direction if men’s netball wants to be taken more seriously by a larger audience.

Streaming opens up the ability to showcase the best domestic competition of mens netball in the world to the world. It also provides another avenue for sponsorship and the ability to showcase the personalities of the players and coaches, something that isn’t lost on Sue.

Junior(web)“I have no doubt there will also be some great characters to embrace and highlight, and hopefully I can help contribute to raising their profiles and the Australian Championships in general.

The biggest difficulty for any sport is to raise profile and awareness. Live streaming the Australian Championship for the first time this year is not only an exciting opportunity, but a big step towards bringing greater awareness to the skill and high standard that mens netball offers.”

This years Australian Championships aren’t just a test for today, but a gauge for the future. At this stage there are plans for Australia to host an international mens and mixed tournament late next year, which will hopefully include teams from New Zealand, South Africa and Asia. The aim is for that series to be live streamed also.

By breaking new ground with this years’ broadcast, the stage for mens netball has never looked better. The streaming enables many more eyes to watch the product than ever before, but, peering into the future, the sky is the limit.

“It’s all about the vision, surrounding the sport with good people and then working hard on establishing the right networks. I hope in some small way, my involvement this year will contribute positively and introduce a new audience to the mens game. Anything is possible.” Sue said.

No doubt it will.

The live streaming will showcase 43 games, from all seven divisions, across four days. The 33rd AMMNA Australian Championships kick off on April 16 on the Gold Coast with live streaming coverage commencing April 19 and will include all finals.

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