Community generosity keeps netball team on the court
THE Little Ladies netball team has a lot to look forward to this season thanks to a helping hand from the community.
Their struggle for sponsorship, which has been ongoing since a corporate agreement fell through at the beginning of the season, was featured on The Daily Examiner's back page on Thursday.
Just a few hours after the newspaper edition hit shelves across the Clarence Valley, Little Ladies coach Lesley Fernando began to receive calls from generous community members who wanted to help.
It wasn't long before the team's fees, totalling just over $1000, were paid by a very humble and generous benefactor who wished to remain anonymous.
Clarence Community Transport also chipped in as sponsors to pay for their team jackets, which some of the girls could not have afforded otherwise.
Ms Fernando said she was overwhelmed by the generosity, and when The Daily Examiner spoke to her yesterday she was preparing to deliver the outcome to the team and their parents at training.
"I'm really overwhelmed and grateful that people are very community minded and willing to give these little girls a go," she said.
"My own daughters were so excited to know that they have no more issues to deal with and that they're going to be playing the rest of the season.
"They're very thankful for those that helped."
The Little Ladies team, which is registered under the Gulmarrad Netball Club, was formed when Ms Fernando decided she wanted to let her daughters, who previously played soccer, have a go at the sport.
She trained with the Gulmarrad club to become a coach and before she knew it she had a full team of 9- to 11-year-old girls on her hands. Despite being new to the courts and some to the sport entirely, the girls have already won five of their past six games.
Ms Fernando said the knowledge that they would be able to play out the season would make them work even harder
"Having this now will make them even more determined to succeed and help them overcome some of the errors on the court," she said.
"Everybody's going to be able to play with no worries at all. The girls will be so excited."