Ipswich pride shines in hosting massive event
NETBALL: Having coached at her third State Age Championships at Limestone Park, Deb Bailey was proud to be from Ipswich.
The long-serving coach was not only thrilled with how Ipswich's developing junior teams performed but how well the city's volunteers hosted the biggest state carnival.
With more than 250 teams from 44 netball associations, the four-day championships were a massive event to be part of as a player, coach, official, organiser or spectator.
After working with Ipswich's 15 years Championship division team, Bailey praised everyone involved in running the successful competition at the Doris Howes courts.
"This one was very well run, very well co-ordinated,'' Bailey said, having coached for more than 28 years.
"I really don't think it would have been as well run without a lot of volunteers. A lot of people put a lot of time in.
"It was all run on time. It was a beautiful carnival.
"Ipswich as a whole should be very, very proud of the way we conducted that carnival.''
Bailey said although Ipswich's seven teams were unable to make Tuesday's finals, they performed incredibly well against the best teams from around the state.
"The preparation for the coaching went well,'' she said.
"We tried a new program this year.
"All the girls played absolutely brilliantly. We couldn't ask any more of them.
"Four days is a long time to be playing netball.''
Her team, which won four of its 10 games, was contesting its final year at State Age level before progressing to the Queensland Premier League (QPL) 16 years competition.
"They did pretty well. It was a very, very tough competition,'' Bailey said.
"Quite a few in this team are already playing Ipswich junior QPL. That's their stepping stone into the Flyers (Ipswich's senior representative team).
"And a few girls that I have, that are not in the QPL, are more than capable of stepping up into that role next year.''
Bailey was impressed with the standard of junior netball in Queensland, saying the quality of players coming through augured well for the future.
She was confident the introduction of Ipswich Netball's pilot program would provide lasting benefits across the junior grades.
"We're only going to get better and better as the program progresses,'' she said.
After a bye round due to the State Age Championships, the QPL South East Queensland Cup competition resumes on Thursday night.
The second-placed Ipswich Flyers face Cornubia Park, with the third-placed Goodna Sapphires meeting RNA in the same 6.30pm timeslot.
The unbeaten Sapphires have a game in hand on top two sides Caboolture and the Flyers (both with five wins and one loss).
QPL SEQld Cup Rd 7: Thursday (6.30pm) - Ipswich Flyers v Cornubia Park; Goodna Sapphires v RNA Opens at the State Netball Centre.