Australia’s Super Netball players will make some form of protest in this weekend’s round of games, but will not strike despite disappointment at Kathryn Harby-Williams not being re-elected to the Netball Australia (NA) board.
Former Australian captain Harby-Williams, the preferred candidate of the Australian Netball Players’ Association (ANPA), lost her position at Friday’s AGM in Canberra, but talks involving the players decided against striking this weekend, which had been one of the mooted options.
“The players have today met and resolved that some form of protest will occur at this weekend’s Suncorp Super Netball matches,” an ANPA statement released on Friday read.
“The players have resolved that the protest will not include cancelling this week’s matches in the interest of fans, corporate partners and broadcast obligations.
“Instead the protest will seek to continue to shine a light on the very real issue of independence and governance on the board.
“The players will keep a very watchful eye over the deliberations of the board in the immediate future to ensure it makes decisions that benefit the sport as a whole and not for some.”
Netball Australia expressed their gratitude to the players for not sitting out this weekend’s games.
“The organisation is grateful that in the interest of fans, corporate partners and broadcast obligations, the athletes have elected to play at this weekend’s Suncorp Super Netball double headers in Brisbane and Sydney,” the NA statement said.
“Netball Australia and its member organisations are united in wanting the best for our game.
“We are committed to seeing our athletes be the first fully professional female athletes with the best terms and conditions.
“Netball Australia and the clubs will continue to work closely with the Australian Netball Players’ Association.
The ANPA lobbied this week for Harby-Williams to be re-elected, stating in a letter to NA chair Paolina Hunt that she was the most-qualified candidate.
It was their non-negotiable position she be re-elected and if that didn’t happen the players would lose confidence in the people entrusted to select the NA board.
They were angry former board chair Anne-Marie Corboy was dumped at a special general meeting called by the member organisations last week, describing it as an inexcusable lack of judgement.
They wanted independent directors who were not aligned to member associations.
Cheryl McCormack, Marcia Ella-Duncan, and Susan Comerford were appointed to the board of directors, after the vote at Friday’s AGM.
McCormack and Ella-Duncan will commence three-year terms, with Comerford appointed for one-year, filling a casual vacancy caused by Corboy’s removal from the Board.
Ella-Duncan and McCormack are former Diamonds representatives and Comerford is on the Netball SA board.
“We are confident that our board of directors has a dynamic combination of experience,” Hunt said.
“Now that the vote has been determined, we are ready to move forward collectively and focus on creating the best outcomes for our sport.”