Elite Pathways

Sunshine Coast Lightning – Australian Netball Championships

In 2021, the Club announced the formation of a Sunshine Coast Lightning team set to compete in the Australian Netball Championships (ANC) competition. The ANC was introduced as a replacement for the former Australian Netball League – a national feeder competition for Suncorp Super Netball.

The 2021 ANC competition was forced to cancel due to border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the Christine Voge-led Lightning team were given development opportunities through the Born to Shine series. Players competed against QLD Sapphires, the QLD Suns Men’s team and AusPacific in an eight game series, played across Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.

USC THUNDER

USC Thunder is Lightning’s affiliate team in the Queensland State Leagues. The Thunder teams provide a Sunshine Coast netball pathway for emerging athletes in the region, competing in both the Sapphire and Ruby series. Shared facilities and resources with Lightning ensure athletes are afforded the best opportunity to develop and improve their skills and gain valuable court time. The team competes out of USC Stadium as a home venue, with also games played across Nissan Arena and various other facilities. The Sapphire Series allows Lightning Training Partners a competitive environment to ply their trade and Head Coach Jess Whitfort works closely with the Lightning coaching panel to maximise their time across both teams. View webpage

USC NETBALL ACADEMY

The USC Netball Academy is a new initiative introduced in 2020, which aims to identify and develop emerging netball talent on the Sunshine Coast. The program engages athletes, coaches and umpires, with the aim of preparing participants for the transition into state and national level competitions. The 12 month program provides competitive opportunities and practical learnings and is led by Lightning Assistant Coach Chris Voge.

Lightning athletes and coaches regularly attend training sessions and engage with the participants to share knowledge and insights and to aid in the delivery of the program. The Academy also collaborates with USC Thunder to provide select athletes competitive opportunities to gain valuable court time throughout the season.