On 17 August 2016, Sunshine Coast Lightning was born in name and logo. The success and milestones achieved in five short years depict the hard work, innovation and passion this Club embodies.
Tipped as the most successful start-up national sporting Club in Australia, Lightning operates with the firm belief that its people are its core asset.
Since the Club’s inception, Lightning has been a dominant force in the Suncorp Super Netball league, winning two Premierships, securing three Grand Final berths, a Minor Premiership and five consecutive finals campaigns – the only Club in the competition to boast such a record.
Off court, the Club has cultivated an enviable global Partner network, prompted a state government funded multi-million dollar expansion of USC Stadium, has influenced the competition’s two extended hubs to be located in Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic and made a lasting impact on the region through community engagement and in creating regional athlete pathways.
Lightning CEO Danielle Smith said the five years have seen great success and, equally, challenges to navigate as a start up organisation but she is immensely proud of where the Club stands today.
“Every day this Club and its people fill me with pride and I feel privileged to play my role at Lightning and to contribute to its culture and ongoing success,” Smith said.
“Lightning were up against time and resource constraints when we first joined the Super Netball competition, so to see the evolution and prosperity of this Club now is incredible.
“While the athletes, coaches and staff are the engine room of this great Club, part of what makes it so incredible is the true commitment of the wider Lightning family – which includes our Members, Partners, fans and the Sunshine Coast community.
“What we have achieved as a united group has made a tangible impact on both the region and on the sport and I am confident that will only continue to ring true in future.”
Head Coach Kylee Byrne reiterated Smith’s personal sentiments around the Club and what makes it unique.
“This Club and the people involved mean so much to me and it really is a special environment to be a part of – especially having been at Lightning from the very beginning,” Byrne said.
“The Premierships and finals campaigns are an obvious highlight and something I will always cherish but there is so much more to this Club than just netball and I truly believe that underpins why we have been so successful over the years.
“From the very start we have been a community Club and it’s been an honour to watch the Sunshine Coast embrace us immediately and to then watch their passion and loyalty grow – even during the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.”