A RECORD number of netballers from across the state and the ACT will converge on the John Matthews Sporting Complex this Sunday when the Bathurst Netball Association hosts its representative carnival.
Teams from the under 11s through to open age will compete in a bumper day of netball, with the hosts enjoying strong representation.
“It’s open to anyone, we have teams from Tuggeranong out to Griffith, to Goulburn, to Dunedoo, Forbes, Warren – teams from everywhere,” Bathurst Netball Association publicity officer Emilie Miller said.
“On the day we have 67 teams competing across seven age divisions. So that’s approximately 670-odd girls there, which is huge, absolutely massive, and I think that’s a record for us hosting a carnival in terms of number of entries.
“We have 11 Bathurst rep teams playing, which is so fantastic to see that we’ve been able to put a Bathurst team in every division and in some of the divisions we’ve got two as well, which is amazing.”
Bathurst’s participation is not limited to representative teams either, with a number of clubs opting to give their players a taste of higher level competition.
Between them the Superstars, Bulldogs, Sportsco, Mana and Bathurst Hurricanes clubs have entered seven teams, something Miller was delighted to see.
“It’s fantastic, it’s really great to see that they’ve thrown their support behind the carnival as well even though they’re not representative teams,” she said.
“It’s great to have those clubs support us and get behind the day.”
Though the clubs teams will be tested by their rivals, Miller is expecting Bathurst’s representative outfits to hold their own against the visiting hopefuls.
Not only will they bring with them good form from previous carnivals, but will be looking to step things up as they finalise their preparation for fast-approaching state championships.
“I think all the Bathurst teams are in really good stead to do well on the day. Each one of those teams have had a great deal of success from the other carnivals that have been held earlier this year,” Miller said.
“The two teams we’ve got competing in the opening division obviously did Regional League earlier in the year and placed quite well in that competition.
“Some of our younger teams have been doing their rounds of the carnivals over the last few months and they’ve had some really good results.
“This carnival is just that last opportunity to rehearse some of the skills and drills we’ve been practising before we head into state champs and state age in a couple of weeks.”
Games start at 8.30am on Sunday and are expected to run through until 4pm. Spectators are welcome.
Meanwhile, the Bathurst Netball Association’s regular season will continue on Saturday afternoon.
In A grade the three games which are to be contested are all tantalising prospects.
Competition leaders Collegians Mystified will go up against an All Saints’ College outfit which has improved over the last fortnight since making the step up to A grade. That match will start at 2.30pm.
Prior to that the other undefeated outfit - Panthers – will look to retain their spot in the top two when facing another A grade newcomer in CSU Thunder from 1.15pm.
The round’s other match at 3.45pm will see Bulldogs Verdelho pushing for their first win of the season against Mana.