Player welfare at the forefront in decision to move Super Netball up north

Player welfare is at high priority for Netball Australia. (Photo: Dani Brown)

It was announced yesterday that Netball Australia had made the decision to move the remainder of the Suncorp Super Netball Season up to Queensland, due to the lockdown announced in South Australia. The welfare of players and staff is a top priority.

Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan addressed the media today in regards to the decision making processes behind moving the competition up to Queensland.

Swifts coach Briony Akle, the Swifts team physio and the Giants have all remained in Adelaide after Netball Australia was presented with information that they had potentially attended a tier one exposure site while in Melbourne.

Ryan said that Giants and the members of the Swifts travelling party have the full support of everyone right across the compeition.

“They’ve got all of our full support,” Ryan said

“These are the times that you realise how amazing netball is, because everybody gets around each of the individuals and the teams collectively.

“So they have our full support of the full playing group, coaching group, Netball Australia. All the other states are trying to do their best to support everybody at the moment.

“Then naturally all the welfare channels that we make available and anything in that space that we need to make available we absolutely certainly do. Obviously the focus is on how we can move forward in this particular piece of occasion.”

The Giants have stayed behind in Adelaide. (Photo: Dani Brown)

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All things are being considered when it comes to the reminding fixture for the home and away season, including putting a weeks pause on the season. Ryan says that they also want to get players and staff back home as quickly as possible.

“A pause, take a breath, is absolutely one of those scenarios that we are working through. Getting it done quickly so people can get home is obviously also an option that we’ve got to consider.

“Right now we will consider all options and we will consult all those key stakeholders that need to be a part of those decisions before we finalise anything in relation to that fixturing piece.”

The reason Adelaide was the best option for the league last week was due to players and staff not requiring a quarantine period when being let back into their home state.

Now that Queensland has been announced the location for the reminder of the Super Netball season, players and staff may have to quarantine on the way home, depending on border restrictions.

This could be an issue for players and staff that are parents having to isolate with their young children back home.

“The borders are one of things that change quite often it is and has been a consideration, and notionally why Adelaide was a really good choice for us last week because of the minimal impact of people flying back to their home states and no quarantine restrictions,” Ryan said.

“Obviously that changed rapidly yesterday and more borders are closed and gone to red and done all those types of things, so [it’s] lost on us that people beyond the season finishing, whenever that is for each individual teams, may have to go into some sort of quarantine regime.”

“We wouldn’t have made the decisions we did yesterday without the full support of all the teams on that point.”

The next series for the Diamonds is set to take place in October, with Ryan and her team ideally wanting players to have a break between the Super Netball season and the start of the Diamonds program.

“In an ideal world we’ll contain it to the exact same period of time that it currently is, but that’s in an ideal world, and we don’t work in ideal worlds at the moment,” she said.

“We really are conscious that we have a Diamonds campaign that we also have to prepare for. We need to give our players the space to return home and have a rest before they can even consider entering into the Diamonds campaign and squad.

“We have some commitments that we want to execute on an international front, so we do have time constraints without a doubt. That will be one of our clear considerations and we continue to discuss the scenarios for the remaining fixture.”

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