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Constituency Statement: MENA Twilight Cup
A couple of weeks ago the Melbourne East Netball Association held the annual Deakin Twilight Cup, an event that I have been thrilled to jointly host over the past four years. The tournament sees more than 500 junior netballers from 14 clubs across the region participate in a round-robin tournament throughout the day.
The participating clubs this year included Bayswater United, Blackburn Lake, Heathmont United, Holy Spirit, Mullum, Norwood Heights, Nunawading, Our Lady’s, Park Orchards, Rangeview, Ringwood North, Southward, St James and, of course, Trinity.
The tournament is designed to be a really fun day for players in the under-11, under-13, and under-15 age groups. Each team plays up to eight matches of 15 minutes in duration throughout the day. The top four teams in each category then go on to compete in a final series under lights—hence, why it is called the Deakin Twilight Cup.
Congratulations to the winning teams in each of the respective sections. In the under-11 age category the section 1 grand final was won by Park Orchards, while the section 2 winners were the Southwood Legends. In the under-13s the section 1 grand final went to Southwood Diamonds, while the section 2 winners were the Ringwood North Crunchy Nuts. Finally, in the under-15 category the section 1 grand final was one by the Ringwood North Coco Pops—obviously they had thought of their names over breakfast that day!—and the section 2 match was won by Southwood Lightning.
Held at the HE Parker Reserve, I really enjoyed watching a couple of the games and then having an opportunity to meet the players by presenting trophies and medals to the grand finalists and runners up. I want to particularly acknowledge all of the players and, of course, the volunteers, parents and those on the MENA committee, led by Councillor Kylie Spears, who really do a power of work each year to get this tournament going—but they do a power of work every Saturday to make sure the tournaments and competitions run very smoothly.
This year the Deakin Twilight Tournament took place on a pretty hot day—33 degrees—a couple of degrees away from players not being able to participate. So I am really pleased that future competitions and future participants in the Deakin Twilight Cup will be hosted in a purpose-built stadium that will enable all players at HE Parker Reserve to play inside rain, hail or shine.
As I said on the day, planning is rapidly progressing towards delivering on that stadium, which was a commitment of the government last year. We have provided $10½ million of funding towards a new state-of-the-art netball centre. I am very much looking forward to seeing that stadium built and seeing it able to offer opportunities for lots of young netballers into the future.
Click here to access a PDF copy of the Hansard transcript of this speech.