Captains gather ahead of Suncorp Super Netball season opener

Via Suncorp Super Netball / Netball Australia. Photo credit: Ben Symons Photography.

It was all smiles when the eight Suncorp Super Netball captains met in Sydney for a friendly goal shooting competition on Wednesday, but come Saturday’s triple-header season opener it will be all on the line.

The opening round will see states divided, with NSW Swifts hosting GIANTS Netball, Melbourne Vixens hosting Magpies Netball Club and the Queensland Firebirds hosting Sunshine Coast Lightning in a Super-Saturday with six hours of back-to-back netball coverage live and free on 9Gem, and Telstra TV. It will be state versus state when the Adelaide Thunderbirds host West Coast Fever on Sunday, in Telstra TV’s first exclusive live broadcast of Suncorp Super Netball.

Netball Australia Interim CEO Marne Fechner said, “It is such an exciting day for netball, we are nearly there. After close to three years dreaming, evaluating, planning, negotiating and implementing, we’re now only three sleeps away from Suncorp Super Netball coming to life in the biggest venues around this country, and into the homes of everyone.

“We have eight clubs poised for battle, eighty of the world’s best athletes, an amazing new principal partner in Suncorp, and a new broadcast partnership that will take us into the homes, the hands and the hearts of all Australians,” said Fechner.

Fechner reflected on what success will look like for Suncorp Super Netball, explaining that “in time, they will be the first fully professional female athletes in this country, playing in packed stadiums, the largest that our country has to offer; week on week, year on year growth in our broadcast audiences, and more juniors playing the game because they want to be like our captains here today.”

The league’s principal partner, Suncorp, was on hand to launch the league. Suncorp’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, Mark Reinke, also a self-confessed netball dad, said Suncorp was proud to support one of Australia’s most successful sports whose players are wonderful role models for our younger generation.

“Netball is playing a big role in building confidence and self-esteem for younger generations, through fantastic role models, like the team captains and programs like NetSetGO,” said Reinke.

“Netball has been a part of many families for many generations, mine included, and today marks another exciting milestone for women’s sport in Australia,” he said.

In the ground-breaking broadcast deal with Nine and Telstra, fans will be able to watch two games per week live and in prime-time on 9Gem (replayed on Telstra TV), and two games live and exclusive through Telstra TV (replayed on 9Gem). All games will be available live via subscription through the Netball Live app, and replayed on demand via 9Now and Telstra TV.

Suncorp Super Netball Team Captains:

• Geva Mentor – Sunshine Coast Lightning
• Gabi Simpson – Queensland Firebirds
• Kimberlee Green – GIANTS Netball
• Abbey McCulloch – NSW Swifts
• Madi Robinson – Magpies Netball
• Nat Medhurst – West Coast Fever
• Kate Moloney– Melbourne Vixens
• Erin Bell – Adelaide Thunderbirds