Netball in Australia, what are the problems?
Netball is a sport that struggles to receive the media attention that it deserves, even if it is one of the largest participation sports at community or grass roots level here in Australia.
One of the main sports I cover as a sports writer is netball and more specifically, the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, which is the highest level of netball a player can play in this country.
Last season was the first season that I covered and although I had a passing interest in netball before last year, it became much stronger after seeing a full season of the best netballers in the country take the court over 14 rounds of comepetition.
Many people ask me what's so good about covering netball?
There are many things that make netball such a good sport to both watch and write about, but the friendliness as well as professionalism are two things that really do stand out for me. From the moment I entered the SNHC for my first ever game as a reporter, everyone was so kind and helpful to me which is something you don't always get when covering other sports.
The way in which the CBT competition is run should be the envy of other sporting bodies in this country, simply because there are no egotistical or selfish people running the sport. If I ever need something, I can get it straight away rather than any being handballed to five different people before finally getting some that can be called an answer.
They might be the best netballers in the country and have represented Australia at various levels, but the sad thing is the lack of financial support the players receive which means all of them have to work a full time job as well to support themselves.
It's even harder for you as an elite level netballer if you are student, of which many of the younger players are.
The players put themselves on the line each week with all the training and other netball activities they partake in, only to not be financially rewarded accordingly when they are entitled to receive something rather than a few token payments or free items.
It's about time the Australian Sports Commission invested more money into netball because it's a great sport for all involved and the players deserve much better working conditions than what they are currently exposed to, which explains why they recently joined the AWU (Australian Workers Union) with the support of Bill Shorten.