Tara Bramwell returned from an ankle injury to claim the Flyers player of the year award for 2016.
Tara Bramwell returned from an ankle injury to claim the Flyers player of the year award for 2016. Kate Czerny

Ipswich netball honours high achievers

AFTER a frustrating year on the sidelines, Tara Bramwell has capped off a brilliant return for the Ipswich Flyers in 2016.

Named the Flyers' player of the year at the Ipswich Netball Association awards dinner, the 23-year-old said she was shocked by her selection.

"It could have gone to many of the players this year,” she said. "I've gotten it once before but after having all of last year off it was a nice reward.

"It's always a good night (at the presentations) and we've got a good bunch of girls who have all had a good year.”

An ankle injury kept Bramwell from playing with the Flyers last year but it didn't keep her from attending training.

With seven years experience, the young netballer knew it was only a matter of time before she could return to the action.

"It really sucked being on the sidelines,” she admitted.

"It was fantastic to get back out there again and I really tried to get stuck into it and give it my all.”

Flyers' teammate Tahlia Vandenberg joined Bramwell on the stage after being given the club player's player award.

Melissa Beutel was named the INA senior sportsperson of the year, while juniors Darcie Smith and Breydon Lemusu were judged the State League player of the year and player's player respectively.

Long-serving Ipswich Netball Association president Gail Lyne was also praised for her contribution to netball in Ipswich as she celebrated 20 years as president.

With more than two decades spent promoting the sport, Bramwell said the leadership of Lyne and her fellow officials had Ipswich netball on the right path for the future.

"It was pretty special to be able to reward Gail for all she does,” she said. "She puts a lot of work in behind the scenes and it's good to see numbers increasing across lots of clubs.

"The association has been in good hands for many years now and you can see it going onwards and upwards in the future.”

Also receiving a special mention at the presentation function was the growing number of Ipswich juniors becoming umpires across the local competition.

Natalie Scott was named umpire of the year.

Jayde Alpers picked up the rising star award and Danielle Wilkins took home the spirit of umpiring award.

Having tried a hand at being an official during her junior days, Bramwell said it was good to see so many young players and aspiring umpires getting involved.

"There has been more focus on working on the umpires numbers and it's good to see for the players,” she said. "I always did it when I was younger and when you are that age it's a good way to have a proper understanding of the rules and regulations.”

Committed to rejoining the Flyers next season, Bramwell and her teammates will look to bounce back from a defeat to Western Districts in the SEQ Challenge Women's Open Division grand final.

Winners in 2014, the Flyers have finished runners up for the past two years in a row.


Ipswich Netball Association award winners for 2016:

Flyers player of the year: Tara Bramwell.

Flyers player's player: Tahlia Vandenberg.

Senior sportsperson of the year: Melissa Beutel.

State League player of the year: Darcie Smith.

State League player's player (16 years): Breydon Lemusu.

Umpire of the year: Natalie Scott.

Rising star umpire award: Jayde Alpers.

Spirit of umpiring award: Danielle Wilkins.