Jamison Park Netball Complex was a sea of colour last Saturday as thousands of people young and old turned out for the start of the 2019 Penrith District Netball Association (PDNA) season.
One of the major highlights of opening day each and every year is the traditional March Past event, which sees netball clubs from across the entire Penrith district come together to celebrate the beginning of the local netball season.
A PDNA tradition for more than 40 years, this year’s March Past was won by Twin Creeks Netball Club, while Cambridge Park Netball Club finished runners-up for the second straight year.
Speaking with the Weekender, PDNA President Joy Gillett said this year’s March Past was the biggest and best one yet.
“It was spectacular, I think the involvement from most of the clubs that play really shone through this year,” she said.
“We had more kids marching and every club made an effort to get involved. It was probably the biggest March Past I can recall, it was great.”
Twin Creeks won their first ever March Past thanks to a Superheroes theme, while other clubs had ‘Star Wars’ on their mind.
“Because the date was May the 4th, two or three clubs focused on ‘Star Wars’. They had ‘May the 4th Be With You’ banners and ‘Star Wars’ masks,” Gillett said.
“The whole atmosphere of the March Past is changing, now it’s becoming a challenge for clubs to come up with a new theme each year and they all seem to come up with something different.”
Following the popular March Past, thousands of players from 21 local clubs took to the courts to get the 2019 season underway.
Gillett said netball is more popular than ever this year thanks to the State Government’s Active Kids rebate, which is opening up the sport to more participants.
“We are substantially up on last year, we have 200 more players registered,” she said.
“This is our largest increase in a long time and I think the subsidy families received from the NSW Government has really helped.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.