Backward Glance: Like Lightning!
  • Wednesday 15 February 2017
It’s an exciting weekend for sport, and especially women’s sport, on the Sunshine Coast with our new national netball team, the Lightning, hitting the court for their first match in the Suncorp Super Netball League.

But were you aware that the game of netball was once called “ladies basketball”.

School teachers from England travelled to many countries of the then British Empire and the game of netball or “ladies basketball” went with them. 

In the early part of the century in Australia and New Zealand, the sport was called basketball then in 1970 the name “women’s basketball” was changed to “netball”. 

In 1963, the first world tournament with 11 teams competing was held in England and Australia were undefeated. 

The world championships are now staged every four years. 

The All Australian Women’s Basketball Association changed its title to the All Australian Netball Association in August 1970. Queensland followed shortly after in 1971 when Queensland Women’s Basketball was changed to Queensland Netball.

Netball Queensland celebrated its 40th year in 2011. 

Queensland State Netball League is the premier netball competition in Queensland. providing the best opportunities and development environment for elite netballers and officials. 

Playing for the league offers a pathway to selection into the Queensland state team or as an Australian netball league representative. 

In the current day Samsung Queensland State Netball League, Sunshine Coast’s local team is known as Sun Coast Lynx and also incorporates Moreton Bay.

Sunshine Coast now has its first national elite-level sporting netball super team known as Sunshine Coast Lightning. 

The Melbourne Storm-backed Sunshine Coast side call the USC Sports Stadium home and the team colours are yellow, purple and black. 

Meanwhile, basketball in this country has evolved to the point that Australia's teams are amongst the most elite at international level. 

Women's basketball was admitted to the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. 

The Australian women’s basketball team made their Olympic debut in the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. 

The Australian Olympians expertise and enthusiasm to teach the game in schools at that time has contributed significantly to the development of the sport.

The Sunshine Coast’s basketball history spans more than 100 years. 

Since those early days the game has been reported in local newspapers. 

A promotional fundraising dance event in the Buderim School of Arts Hall was reported in the Brisbane Courier on June 6, 1929 for the Buderim Basketball Club. 

The Buderim female basketball team originally played on the eastern side of the School of Arts Hall playing against North Coast towns such as Nambour, Woombye, Yandina and the Nambour Rural School Old Girls.

An article in the Nambour Chronicle on November 6, 1931 reported: “Nambour’s Rural School Old Girls were too strong for Buderim Comrades with the goals thick and fast and the ball rarely intercepted against the ‘Old Girls. A number of officials from competing clubs and the North Coast Association were interested spectators. The ethics of sportsmanship were prominent”.

Reverend Lapthorne presented the cup to the Rural School Old Girl winners, remarking “experience gained on the playing fields of striving for the objective to win could be applied in the higher principles of life. This act was received with cheers by the other competing team. The better team won. Nambour Old Girls 42 defeated Buderim Comrades 12”.

Three teams from the Ladies Basketball Association in Brisbane visited Nambour in September 1946 to play against local selections on the Rural School Grounds. 

Caloundra took out the honours at the Queensland Ladies Basketball Association’s Annual Country Carnival held at Albert Park Brisbane in August, 1952. 

Later that year, Nambour Chronicle advertised that the Caloundra Basketball Club Gala Ball and Mannequin Parade was to be held in the Glideway Hall on October 31, 1952.

Since the 1950s, the sport has continued to expand here on the Sunshine Coast with courts in most of the larger towns for both junior and senior players.

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images. 

In 2017, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Naming of the Sunshine Coast. For more information on this milestone anniversary visit

Image captions:
Hero image: Caloundra Basketball Club members, ca 1950.

Carousel image captions:

Image 1: Yandina Basketball Club, 1924.
Image 2: Members of the Nambour Ladies Basketball Team, ca 1927.
Image 3: Woombye Ladies Basketball Club, 1928.
Image 4: Members of the State Commercial High School and College Senior Girls Basketball Team at Elston Guest House, Montville, ca 1926.
Image 5: North Coast Representative Girls Basketball Team at the regional games, Brisbane, September 12, 1931.
Image 6: North Coast Girls Basketball Team with competitors at Toowoomba, October 19 1931, North Coast Team second from right in light uniform.