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Celebrating 60 Years of Netball

This year Netball on the North Shore turns 60. I have been looking at the archives over these 60 years with interest. Some very prominent North Shore family names are evident in the vision to start up a sport what was then known as Ladies ‘Basketball’.

In 1952 under the banner of the North Shore Basketball Association a few keen men (Mr K. Kennedy, Mr E. Roberts and Mr Probert) managed to form this association. The official opening day was held at the Campbells Bay Primary School later transferring to Takapuna Grammar School. By the end of the first season the competition had grown from five to eight teams. Mr Proberts car was parked beside the courts and a loudspeaker system was mounted on his car for announcements. Refreshments were provided by Mrs Probert who organised trestle tables to put food and drink on. In 1957 Takapuna Grammar permitted the association to build a small pavilion adjacent to the courts. This contained the canteen which greatly assisted in providing funds for the association!
By 1965 the association had 122 teams and was growing at a fast rate. Negotiations were finalised with the Takapuna City Council for an area at the Onewa Domain. An agreement was reached to use the area for six months of the year with a lease of ten years. The new headquarters were built with 12 courts and were made possible from financial assistance from the Golden Kiwi, North Shore Local Bodies, the Auckland Savings Bank and many well-wishers. With the move to this new location the membership soared to 160 teams.
In 1967 an application was made to the Onewa Domain Board to lease the entire area occupied by the Ministry of Works next door when it becomes available for the construction of additional courts. The game becoming so popular that the association introduced mid-week basketball with 24 teams.
In 1969 the membership had soared to 206 teams and in 1971 with 223 teams the name of the association was changed to North Shore Netball Association.
Incredibly that was 40 years ago. How we have grown. We know where we are heading, but very importantly we should all know where we have been.
This upcoming Diamond celebration is an important milestone for women’s sport on the North Shore. We welcome your support in joining us to celebrate these 60 years.
The North Harbour Club Society Ball (a joint fundraising event by Netball North Harbour and the North Harbour Club) is shaping up to be the event of the year for the North Shore community. Ticket sales are doing incredibly well and so to avoid disappointment - purchase your tickets now!

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by Adele Lendich