Season opener inspires fans to join Club

Lightning’s thrilling Round 1 local derby draw with Firebirds has ignited a new Queensland sporting rivalry and in the process catapulted the Coast Club’s membership base past 2,000.

The popularity of the foundation Club continues to grow and the dogged determination shown by the side against its more-fancied opponent has earned praise from a new crop of fans.

Sunshine Coast resident, Samantha Turner was the 2,000th person to purchase a Club membership.  Samantha said she was “hooked” after watching the epic encounter at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

“Being at Lightning’s first match really solidified it for me and I decided to become a member after that,” Turner said.

“I have played netball my whole life and still do. I love the fact that Sunshine Coast has its own team and as a local, I want to support the Club.

“I loved the experience and thought the game was awesome. It was so intense and I was on the edge of my seat the entire match.

“I have already bought tickets to the next Firebirds’ game in Round 7 at our home court.”

The match wasn’t just a hit for those who attended, with the Nine Network’s live broadcast attracting a national peak audience of 284,000, with close to 1 million viewers in total tuning in to the three Suncorp Super Netball matches on Saturday.

The fledgling competition’s exciting start has put the spotlight on netball. Nearly 6,000 attended Saturday’s all-Queensland clash, and Lightning members and fans made the trip to the state’s capital in droves to witness history being made.

Lightning CEO, Danielle Smith thanked the Club’s fan base for its ongoing support.

“Lightning supporters are the lifeblood of this Club and to have so many in the crowd at an away game was outstanding,” Smith said.

“More than 2,000 have now decided to not only support the Club, but be a part of it as well.

“We are thrilled to reach this milestone in a short period and hope many more get behind the Sunshine Coast’s first elite sporting team.”

Lightning’s number one member, Stephanie Wood said the community’s backing had been well received by the playing group.

“We have had a huge turnout at every pre-season practice match as well as the first competition game and it is terrific to see,” Wood said.

“You get a real boost playing in front of a passionate and vocal crowd. The athletes enjoy having that support.

“We cannot wait to host Vixens this Sunday in front of our members and fans for our first home match of the competition.”

Lightning’s three membership options; Supporter, Gold and Platinum, range in value from just $50 to $500. As well as priority access to purchase discounted tickets, all three categories provide exclusive foundation member merchandise and priority access to finals.

To become a foundation member, head here.

Tickets are still available to Sunday’s match with Melbourne at USC Stadium. To avoid disappointment, secure your seat today here.