Hundreds of budding netballers flocked to Fishermans Road last Friday to prepare for the second annual Unitywater Lightning Cup.

The school-based tournament welcomes male and female students in year’s 5 and 6 from the Sunshine Coast Region and beyond to participate in an all-day round robin carnival with a grand final to finish.

The competitive carnival included three divisions: Championship (Lightning Cup), Development (Thunder Cup) and Boys (Storm Cup), as well as a multi-class ‘Come-and-try’ opportunity for students with a mental or physical disability to participate.

Lightning player Tara Hinchliffe is playing with a young student during the multi-class netball clinic.
Tara Hinchliffe and Caloundra City Private School student during the multi-class clinic.

The Strike Zone — a much-loved feature of Lightning’s home games — was on full display, with food trucks, music, merchandise, a silent disco, free hair braiding and temporary tattoos, giveaways and inflatable games.

Eleven Lightning players and training partners attended throughout the day, including recent World Cup gold medallists Steph Wood and Cara Koenen, signing posters and getting pictures with their biggest supporters.

Steph Wood poses and smiles with students from Victory College.
Steph Wood with students from Victory College.

Unitywater Executive Manager, Strategic Engagement — Joshua Zugajev said it was fantastic to see so much young talent enjoying netball in a safe and inclusive environment.

“As a proud partner of Sunshine Coast Lightning, Unitywater was thrilled to play a role in the annual Lightning Cup. It was great to see young netballers from across our region representing their schools and celebrating their love for the sport. We would like to congratulate the winning schools and thank the Lightning team for hosting such a fun and inclusive event,” he said.

Three young students from Kuluin State School pose with their waterbottles next to Unitywater's free water truck.
Students from Kuluin State School fill up their waterbottles thanks to Unitywater.

2023 Unitywater Lightning Cup winners:

Students from Siena Catholic PS smile while holding their large, gold trophy.
Lightning Cup winners: Siena Catholic PS

Lightning Cup

  • Winner: Siena Catholic PS
  • Runner Up: St Eugene
Students from Buddina State School post with their silver trophy.
Thunder Cup Winners: Buddina SS

Thunder Cup

  • Winner: Buddina SS
  • Runner Up: Coolum SS
Students from St Andrew's Anglican college smile and post with their gold trophy
Storm Cup Winners: St Andrew’s Anglican College

Storm Cup

  • Winner: St Andrew’s AC
  • Runner Up: Meridan State College


Thank you to Monday Night Secondary School Netball Association for all their assistance in bringing Unitywater Lightning Cup to life. Without your assistance and guidance, this event wouldn’t be possible.

For the full gallery of pictures, please visit our Facebook page. 

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