Netball strike: Crisis looms after failed re-election bid

PLAYER POWER: Sunshine Coast Lightning captain Geva Mentor says it's important players' concerns are heard.
PLAYER POWER: Sunshine Coast Lightning captain Geva Mentor says it's important players' concerns are heard. PAUL MILLER

NETBALL: Sunshine Coast Lightning captain Geva Mentor says it's important players have power, as the threat of a strike action gains momentum following this morning's Netball Australia annual general meeting.

This weekend's round nine Suncorp Super Netball clashes, including Sunshine Coast Lightning's meeting with Adelaide Thunderbirds, are now in serious doubt, after board member Kathryn Harby-Williams failed in her bid for re-election.

The Australian Netball Players' Association, through a letter signed by two players from each Suncorp Super Netball club, had warned this week players were likely to strike this weekend, should Harby-Williams not be re-elected.

"I think in this day and age it's important players are represented well,” Mentor said.

"It's important we all stick together. There's some strong beliefs at the moment, but I think the most important thing is we're moving this sport in the right direction, improving this league and improving ourselves as players.”

The board instead elected Cheryl McCormack, Marcia Ella-Duncan, and Susan Comerford to the Board of Directors, following this morning's vote.

Players are expected to meet at 1pm, to discuss whether they will take further action.

"I think we'll find out very shortly what's going to be happening ... hopefully it won't come to any of that (strike action).”

Board spokesman Geoff Paramenter said the board was "optimistic” about the future of this weekend's matches.

"We're obviously optimistic they won't (strike),” he said.

"I'm sure they don't want to. I'm sure the players want to play. I'm sure they're concerned about the fans.”

Some have now labelled this morning's events as the "darkest day in the sport's history”.

"I actually think it's an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and move forward,” Paramenter said.

"I think there's one thing I can say for certain: that everybody in that room is united in wanting the best for the game, and we have an opportunity now to capitalise on the opportunity that Super Netball's created for the game, and everybody recognises that and is committed to it.”

More to come.

Topics:  netball australia suncorp super netball

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