THREE junior netball teams from Weipa have put the town on the map after winning some new admirers at their recent tournament in Yeppoon.
“Some of the other parents were saying ‘where is Weipa’ and couldn’t believe how far away it was,” said Weipa Social Netball Club treasurer Abbey Martin, who organised a lot of the trip.
“It was a fantastic experience. We took three teams and 29 girls in total.”
Just getting to Yeppoon was a difficult task.
The squad flew out of Weipa, stayed in Cairns overnight, then jumped aboard a Bonza flight to Rockhampton before boarding a bus to Yeppoon.
They did the same trip in reverse to get home.
“It was such a well run event,” Abbey said of the Capricorn Coast Junior Netball Carnival.
“We found out about it from Jeff (Neil) one of our local paramedics who was previously on the committee down there.
“It was funny because when we were in Yeppoon there was a recording played with messages and countdowns and they were all voiced by Jeff.”
Abbey said the tournament gave the Weipa girls a great taste of the type of netball that would be commonplace for more urban clubs.
“Our players only train once a week on Mondays and then play a game of about 10 or 15 minutes at the end of practice,” she said.
“To go down there and be around 164 teams, on a mix of grass and hard courts was such a great experience for them.”
Weipa had teams in the 12, 14 and 15-years age groups. They were also allowed to play two 16 year olds in their 15-year team.
“They allowed that for the boys teams as well and I think they might be starting to think about Olympics for netball,” Abbey said.
While all teams managed to draw at least one of their games, it came down to the final match for Weipa to register a win, with the 12-years team getting the job done.
“I thought they all did really well and never gave up in any of their matches. They did Weipa proud and they should be proud of themselves” the passionate treasurer said.
She said the club owed a great deal of gratitude to the sponsors who supported the teams.
“It would have been way too expensive without their support and thanks must go to Rio Tinto Weipa and Weipa Real Estate, as well as our yearly sponsors Embley Contracting, Junction Engineering, Weipa Bowls Club, Capeaccino Crew and Weipa Lions Club.”
The Weipa Social Netball Club is now gearing up for this Saturday’s Embley Shield junior carnival at the Storm Surge Shelter in Rocky Point.
“We’ll get somewhere between 60 and 80 kids and it’ll be non-stop from about 8am until 1pm,” Abbey said.
“The junior footy finals are on that afternoon so we didn’t want to clash.”