Katanning Netball Association is hopeful that a season lies ahead with restrictions starting to ease

Taj StubberGreat Southern Herald
Olympians, the 2019 A-grade premiers.
Camera IconOlympians, the 2019 A-grade premiers.

The Katanning Netball Association is confident they will have some form of season this year, as COVID-19 restrictions involving sport begin to be eased.

Last year’s KNA season began in early May, however there is no set resumption of netball in WA after their normal competition has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Netball WA postponed all netball-related activities until May 30 because of the pandemic but has been in regular contact with associations across WA in recent weeks to keep them updated on the developing situation.

KNA president Kelly Holzknecht believes a season in some format is achievable this year.

“(Meetings with Netball WA) have been weekly of late and this has been pivotal in keeping abreast of all the updates and disseminating this information to members during these uncertain times,” Holzknecht said.

“The main discussions have been around the health, safety and well-being of our members, how we could offer a sporting season when the restrictions were lifted and how this would look with the new national sporting framework.

“There is a strong understanding that we need to be working within these guidelines and framework as there will be increased hygiene measures and checklists required so we can provide a safe environment for members when we are given the green light.”

Action from last year's A-grade grand final.
Camera IconAction from last year's A-grade grand final.

With restrictions being relaxed in recent weeks, KNA is exploring running a 10-week season starting in mid-July with the top two teams to play-off in a final.

“The situation is changing daily and as a contact sport we have some work to do once the restrictions ease before we can start preparing for a season while keeping our members health and safety as the main priority,” she said.

“We have been engaging our clubs to keep us up to date on how our members are feeling and preferences for different season proposals.

“Having a final to aspire to is a priority for members.

“We have tried to stay positive throughout the whole situation and understand that we need to be flexible with what we could offer as an association moving forward.

“We have a lot of steps to take before we can play our much-loved sport again this year, but we are confident we can offer a competition to our members, albeit in a different format to the norm.”

Katanning Netball Association committee last year.
Camera IconKatanning Netball Association committee last year.

KNA had an executive meeting on Tuesday to collate the latest feedback from clubs and come up with a fluid proposal for a possible season, working within the new road map for COVID-19 released on Sunday by the State government.

Holzknecht said the KNA had done their best to keep members active during the coronavirus.

“Generally feedback over the last few weeks has indicated that a shorter season is the preference,” she said.

“Some families have been experiencing financial strain and we wouldn’t want a longer netball season to impact on summer sports.

“The committee used social media to encourage members to continue with fitness at home and netball education (online learning) sharing videos and posts from other organisations and fitness groups.

“As with most sport in country towns, it’s not just about playing the sport and keeping physically healthy it’s also about good mental health and the social interaction.

“Connecting with the community is a huge part of sport in the country.”

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