Saturday 10 October was Somerset Spartans Netball's Club Day at Firth Park, Mudgereeba - home of the Hinterland District Netball Association. Families donated their time, energy, sausage-flipping skills and baking prowess to raise a few dollars for our Netball club.

It was a huge turn out by our extremely close-knit netball community, many of whom were among the first to arrive at 6.30 in the morning and last to leave at 2.00pm, and all there to do their bit for the club their girls so proudly represent every Saturday.

An extraordinary array of cakes and cookies accompanied the sizzle of of the barbecue and the broader netball community that descends upon Firth Park each and every Saturday could not help but be impressed by the enthusiasm and good cheer that accompanied the event.

A special shout out to members of the Open team who mingled selflessly with the younger kids and took their turn marshalling those trying their luck on the chocolate toss or serving those out to satisfy a post-game hankering for a brownie. Their kind of naturally selfless example-setting defines the spirit of Somerset Spartans Netball. Everyone helps, everyone is included and all involved take responsibility for sharing the joy of the sport.

Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why Somerset Netball - for the past few years under the watchful stewardship of former New Zealand netball, basketball and surf-lifesaving international, Sheryl Burns - is experiencing something of a purple (or green, white and blue?) patch at the moment. Only two years back the Open team held the Vicki Wilson Cup aloft as the best open-age school team in the state. The flame still burns bright. No silverware this year for the Opens, but a creditable 6th placing and a valuable learning experience for an extremely young squad comprising many players still in just their early senior years. A number of these girls also turned out for the Bond University Bullsharks team that claimed victory at the State Championships last month.

An exciting group are walking in the older girls' footsteps too. Half of the ten-girl Hinterland District Netball Association representative squad that won the hotly contested Under 13 Championship Division at the recent State Age Championships are Somerset Spartans, and a generous sprinkling of other young Spartans performed extremely well in their respective U12, U13, U14 and U15 representative teams over the course of the Championships.

The future of Spartans Netball is looking good.

Huge thanks to all staff (particularly Sheryl Burns and the indefatigable Lola McLaughlin), and all students and parents within the Somerset netball community for doing such a wonderful job to support the girls, their sport and their club.

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