Rebels Netball Club, (L) Ella Keliher, Makaylah Bygrave, Kaylah Dahlke, Nevaeh Byrnes, Tahlia Bygrave, Lilly Keliher, Madison Bygrave and Emily Dahlke. Photo: File/ Alistair Brightman
Rebels Netball Club, (L) Ella Keliher, Makaylah Bygrave, Kaylah Dahlke, Nevaeh Byrnes, Tahlia Bygrave, Lilly Keliher, Madison Bygrave and Emily Dahlke. Photo: File/ Alistair Brightman

How Coast netball club is bucking worrying sport trend

NETBALL: A NEW Suncorp study has revealed more than a quarter of Australian teen girls are at risk of not returning to play team sport following time away during lockdown.

Despite this, Maryborough's Rebels Netball Club has powered through the crisis, retaining player numbers.

Club president Krystal Owen said as players got older towards the end of high school they shifted focus towards other priorities like looking for a job.

Ms Owen said this season's competition featured 90 registered competitors for the club across four divisions with the biggest group being players in the seven to twelve age group.

Games are played Wednesday afternoon and nights as well as weekends to try and accommodate various groups.

Despite the study finding falling player numbers across Australia, 80 per cent of participants noted the benefits of sporting activity.

Ms Owen said netball kept players fit, provided a challenge and there was a real sense of camaraderie between them.

As well as retaining numbers, the club has recently returned to competition in the past few weeks.

Ms Owen hoped next year would be a bigger and better season once the coronavirus crisis had passed.

She wanted to thank the Maryborough Netball Association's Covid Safe officers for getting the competition up and running again.

"Its absolutely great," she said.