Get off the couch and onto court

No matter how many games of Wii you play at home, most people would agree outdoor exercise with other children is something all kids should enjoy.

For girls, the number one sport in Australia is netball. Girls as young as six can join in and Marie Mackney, founder of the Summerlanders Netball Association 38 years ago, is encouraging girls to sign-up with the club this Saturday, February 11.

The Lismore courts are named in honour of Marie and her commitment to the sport. While she no longer shoots goals with the club, her daughter is equipment officer and her granddaughter plays. And she doesn't mince words about the benefits of sport.

"I just think generally any sport is great rather than sitting there on those stupid computer games," Marie said. "I think everyone should play sport, for the communication and fun times. And netball is a lovely game. I still go down every Saturday morning and watch the girls play. I am 75 years of age and I'm actually helping on the committee this year, can you believe it?" she laughed.

"In my day they didn't have development programs, but now they have coaching programs and things, and if parents so wish they can go to a development class and coach the team and get involved that way."

Marie said the Summerlanders actually started because the team wanted to be more modern and didn't want to wear their school uniform on the court. The players thought their sports attire was so daggy they went out and created their own uniform and their own club.

Players of all ages are welcome to sign-on this Saturday and Little Nettas (girls aged six to eight) are welcome to join the ranks. Their partcipation will be encouraged with netball skills and trophies.

The sign-on runs from 9am to 11am at the Lismore Netball Clubhouse on Ballina Road. For more information, email sandy.archibald@

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