Sunshine Coast nets a big win
  • Tuesday 17 April 2018
NetFest Mayor and Chris Symington

NetFest is coming to the Sunshine Coast for the first time in October, adding to the ever growing list of major sporting events choosing to be based in the region, strengthening our status as one of Australia’s homes for netball.

After starting with only 500 participants in 2011, NetFest is a mass participation carnival and celebration of netball that now attracts more than 2500 participants from all over Australia and New Zealand.

It is open to all players 18 years and over and will be staged at the Maroochydore Multi-Sport Complex and Mooloolaba Beach from October 4-7.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was delighted Netball Australia had chosen the Sunshine Coast as its new NetFest home after the event was held on the Gold Coast for the last six years.

“We love netball and major events and this time we are putting them both together,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Last year, we saw the newly established Sunshine Coast Lightning achieve the ultimate in their debut season in the Suncorp Super Netball League – a grand final victory - and more recently we’ve hosted the Australian Diamonds, captained by the Lightning’s very own Caitlin Bassett, during their Commonwealth Games preparation.

“Our reputation as a premier sporting destination will be enhanced with the addition of NetFest to the list of major sporting events choosing to come to the region.

“With action across Mooloolaba Beach and the recently upgraded Maroochydore Multi-Sport Complex, NetFest will be a significant boost to our local economy.

“It’s also about more than the on-court action with food and beverage options, live music and retail stalls at each venue.”

Minister for Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones said securing NetFest on the Sunshine Coast formed part of the legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Queensland has just hosted netball at the biggest event in Australia this decade and the Games have reinforced the state’s position as a premier events destination,” Ms Jones said.

“Netball is one of the largest participation sports in Australia - this together with the high calibre of Australian and international netball teams which participate in NetFest will attract spectators to the Sunshine Coast.

“Bringing NetFest to the Sunshine Coast is a wonderful addition to the stellar line-up of major events in the region and which feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

“Tourism is a vital industry for the Sunshine Coast, contributing an estimated $2.5 billion to the region’s economy and supporting 25,800 jobs.

“Events like NetFest are key in driving tourism, boosting the local economy, supporting jobs and fostering community pride.”

Netball Australia’s Executive General Manager of Events Chris Symington said NetFest had grown bigger and better each year.

“Netball Australia is very excited to be bringing NetFest to the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Symington said.

“The region provides us with an amazing host location and the ability to grow the game of netball through our mass participation event format.

“With the support of Tourism and Events Queensland and the Sunshine Coast Council, NetFest is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever.

“NetFest has been a highlight on the calendar for the netball community over a number of years now and we are looking forward to generating even more interest with this new location.”

Sunshine Coast Netball Association fixtures administrator Shelley Burchell said NetFest would find a great home at the recently upgraded netball courts at Maroochydore and thanked council and the State Government for their contribution.

“Netball is among the most popular sports for girls and women in Australia and this upgrade will ensure players on the Sunshine Coast will have the facilities they need to continue to participate at record levels,” Ms Burchell said.

NetFest is open to anyone over 18 years of age and includes social and competitive netballers, male or female, a netball newbie or an aspiring Aussie Diamond.

The Sunshine Coast Netball Association will assist Netball Australia in delivering NetFest 2018.

For more information visit netfest.com.au.

Image Mayor Mark Jamieson and Netball Australia's Executive General Manager of Events, Chris Symington