Teacher’s mammoth effort to rescue town’s netball program

Safe play: Mundubbera Netball is back on the courts.

By Julian Lehnert

As Covid-19 restrictions are being eased around the country, a Mundubbera teacher and sports coach has been working hard to revive her town’s netball program.

Mundubbera State School teacher Lisa Whelan took on the task after social distancing requirements delayed the start of the season earlier this year.

After consulting with the North Burnett Regional Council and several sports governing bodies, Ms Whelan said the Mundubbera Netball Club’s ten-week program was now set to go ahead.

“We had to adopt the Covid Safe industry plan for field sports through Netball Queensland and the Queensland Sports Association and also had to do a plan for the Council,“ Ms Whelan said.

“I am actually a Covid Safe coordinator now – I’ve done a couple of courses, so that just makes sure that we have everything in place.“

“Of course, we had to buy ample amounts of hand sanitiser to wipe all the equipment down,“ she added.

The sports coach said that up to sixty children between the ages of five and sixteen attend the club’s training every season.

During practice, players will learn important skills as well as take to the court for team games.

Ms Whelan said that the process of adapting to the Covid health crisis has not been easy, but assures parents that appropriate measures are now in place.

“We’ll have heaps of signage about washing hands and staying socially distant,“ she said.

“As you can imagine, people are still a little bit unsure about everything, especially with what has been happening in Victoria,“ Ms Whelan said.

The teacher and coach, whose ongoing efforts are being praised by the community, said that the children who were going to miss out on their sport this year inspired her to get the program on its feet.

“I’m a school teacher, so I see the kids all the time,“ she said.

“I’ve had more than a few ask me ’are you going to get the netball started?’ – so that was probably my motivation for getting it going.“

“It’s been quite a journey! Now we’ll just have to wait and see if we get the support of the community,“ Ms Whelan said.