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NETBALL TASMANIA TO APPLY FOR SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL LICENCE

NETBALL Tasmania will apply for a licence to compete in the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) competition for the period commencing in 2022.

“This is an exciting time for Tasmanian netball and Tasmanian sport in general as we see many sports push for Tasmanian teams in national competitions,” Netball Tasmania chief executive officer Aaron Pidgeon said.

“We still have a number of matters to line up before this can become a reality, but we’re committed to the cause and we believe that it’s the right time to be expressing interest.”

The expression of interest process for SSN licences for the period commencing in 2022 is expected to open in April 2021.

Netball Tasmania will seek a participation commencement date of season 2023, allowing the existing Tasmanian Government agreement with Collingwood Magpies to expire prior to the creation of the new club.

As part of the strategy to operate a SSN club in Tasmania, Netball Tasmania will field a standalone team in the Australian Netball Championships for 2021 (formerly the ANL), rather than continue with the Tasmanian Magpies team.

Mr Pidgeon said Netball Tasmania had been extremely lucky to partner with Collingwood since 2017 through which a joint Australian Netball League (ANL) team operated, and Collingwood have played SSN matches in Tasmania.

“We understand a decision to support a Tasmanian SSN team may impact the agreement with Collingwood beyond 2022,” he said.

“That is not a reflection on the relationship with Collingwood which has been fantastic, rather our need to prioritise the implementation of a Tasmanian team in the competition.

“We’re thankful to the Tasmanian Government for supporting that opportunity and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Collingwood to deliver SSN content in Tasmania throughout the remainder of the existing agreement.”

Netball Tasmania has submitted a request to the Tasmanian Government for financial support for an SSN licence, a critical component of the application and the implementation of a sustainable financial model.

“We believe that the financial model we have created for the proposed club is sustainable, but it is dependent, at least through the first licence period, on the financial support of the Tasmanian Government,” he said.

“While we would like to be able to deliver a financial model which can standalone without the support of the Tasmanian Government, that’s not a reality in the short term.”

“That said, we are not looking for a handout but rather a mutually beneficial partnership that would see the Tasmanian SSN team deliver a value through regular and ongoing engagement with the Tasmanian community and an unwavering commitment to providing positive leadership and role models for young Tasmanians.”

Mr Pidgeon said there were still challenges in both obtaining a licence and operating a team in the competition.

“As noted, the sustainability of our proposed program is initially dependent on securing government funding, but beyond that we still have much to do to in order to present the strongest submission possible,” he said.

“Realistically, that submission needs to be strong enough to beat out a submission from one of the existing SSN teams or to convince the SSN Commission and the broadcaster to expand the league.”

If approved, the new club will provide local jobs, new entertainment product, a boost to local participation and strong role models in the community inspiring young Tasmanians.

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