Hockey, football and netball clubs and associations in the eastern Wheatbelt have been working together in season 2021 to trial three feature rounds where all Winter sport is played on the same day at the same venue.
The project, which is a partnership between Hockey WA, Netball WA, the West Australian Football Commission, the West Australian Country Football Association and Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC), empowers local clubs and associations to take the lead in improving participation both on and off the field.
Following a “Return to Play” workshop in March in Narembeen, the clubs and associations worked together to identify three rounds in season 2021 where all Winter sport would be played at one venue, in a concerted effort to keep families travelling and playing together.
The first two rounds were held in May, with the remaining round to be held this Saturday 3 July. A video that captures the project can be located at www.wacfl.com.au
Netball WA’s Membership Coordinator Jaime-Leigh Strickland said aligning the Winter sports for three rounds was a step forward towards strong netball, football and hockey competitions in the eastern Wheatbelt.
“Netball WA are really conscious of making our community members lives easier, we also understand that sport is the life blood of the Wheatbelt and aligning the three winter sports as much as possible will allow families to spend more time together, allow players to play in multiple sports and reduce volunteer hours, that has to be something we keep working towards for the future.”
Hockey WA Member Services Coordinator Kristen Jerkovich said “We are excited about supporting our associations in this community project that allows everyone to be brought together through sport,” she said.
“Having all three state bodies working together with DLGSC showcases our commitment to bringing all communities together for their benefit and the benefit of our sports”.
“Getting numbers for some towns can be difficult, so aligning the whole town to one location on a particular day presents the opportunity for people to cross codes and make up full teams in all sports.”
The aim of the three feature rounds was to minimise travel for families, allowing both children and their parents to compete at the same venue, on the same day, something that has not been achieved to its maximum in previous seasons.
The May 1 feature round was held at a few venues across the eastern Wheatbelt, one being in Merredin. The three State Sporting Associations and DLGSC have launched a video capturing the day which hosted junior and senior netball, hockey and football.
WAFC Manager of Country Football Development Brent Sheridan said there is great promise for the future in all three sports.
“We are excited to see the three sports and our communities come together and explore what the future could hold," he said.
"Finding players and volunteers continues to be priority number one to keep our clubs vibrant and sustainable and this is a great way to help spread the load.
“Bringing families together to enjoy their sport and support each other highlights the great role sport plays in bringing our communities together.”
All three state sporting associations and DLGSC are committed to the project in season 2021 and 2022 to support volunteers in their roles and participation on the field.