2019 | The Year That Was

There has been substantial growth in men’s and mixed netball across the last 12 months, in particular, participation numbers of males playing netball.

According to Sport Australia’s latest AusPlay participation survey data to from July 2018 to June 2019, around 1 in 9 netball participants in Australia are male. The figure of just over 107,000 is an increase of almost 50% on the previous survey.

M-League, Junior M-League and state competitions continue to grow across the country, with this year’s Premier Men’s Grand Finals in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia all going down to the wire – a sign of the strength the game now enjoys.

The number of junior clinics held also grew this year, with states venturing to regional areas also.

But achievements can be measured by more than just numbers.

Queensland won the 2019 Australian Championships Men's Open division. Image: Clusterpix Photography
Queensland won the 2019 Australian Championships Men’s Open division. Image: Clusterpix Photography

The Decade That Was

As this year comes to the end, so does the second decade of the millennium. Mind blowing really.

Much is to be lauded in terms of growth and success for men’s and mixed netball in Australia.

At the turn of the decade, the All Australia Mens Netball Association (AAMNA) was re-named renamed to the Australian Men’s & Mixed Netball Association (AMMNA), signifying the true inclusion of mixed netball as part of AMMNA’s plan for the sport moving forward.

The Trans Tasman Cup was re-established in 2010 with our New Zealand neighbours after a 10-year hiatus. The 2010 Trans Tasman Cup included AMMNA’s first ever Mixed Open test match.

There has been a restructuring and the addition of a seventh division (Mixed Reserve) to the Australian Championships, to facilitate greater participation and cement a clearer pathway for athletes.

The 30-team barrier was first broken at the 2013 Australian Championships, with signs indicating next year’s Championships in Adelaide will reach almost 50 teams.

At the end of 2016 the AMMNA Executive and state members came together to discuss the vision for the future of men’s and mixed netball. The end result being the Strategic Plan 2017-2021, centers around the implementation of strong pathways and support structures to expand and grow the game.

Live streaming is now a staple of AMMNA’s flagship event, having begun in 2017 on the Gold Coast. This asset has generated a bigger audience for not only the event, but the sport at large.

These developments wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and leadership of the AMMNA Executive, support and sure governance of our state members and our wonderful volunteers.

Australia and New Zealand Open Men's teams come together at the 2018 Trans Tasman Cup. Image: Clusterpix Photography
Australia and New Zealand Open Men’s teams come together at the 2018 Trans Tasman Cup. Image: Clusterpix Photography

2020 Vision – And Beyond

Next year AMMNA will acknowledge further milestones and achievements. It will also present the sport with great opportunities.

AMMNA will celebrate the 35th Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Championships in April, while Perth will play host to Australia’s first staging of the Men’s and Mixed Netball World Cup in mid-October. Plans are in the works to again send development teams to the NZMMNA Men’s Nationals in September.

A record number of teams will enter the 2020 Australian Championships with South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia selecting more teams than ever before. South Australia are also readying themselves to host the Championships for the first time in 25 years.

There’s some wonderful synergy in Perth hosting the Men’s and Mixed Netball World Cup, as it also hosted Australia’s first staging of the women’s World Netball Championships (now Netball World Cup) in 1967.

Western Australia will also host the 2021 Australian Championships, for the first time since 2007, in what will be a very busy and exciting period for the state.

The AMMNA Executive will continue to seek ways to strengthen and build our assets, ensuring over the next decade there is further growth and success for participating, developing and elite athletes, as well as coaches, umpires and support staff.

The future has never looked better.

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