The Boroondara Netball Association founding clubs originated from the Victorian Churches Netball Association, but with no facilities in Boroondara, we had to travel long distances to play our sport. In 1988 we made our first submission to Council (the then, City of Camberwell) for local netball facilities to make netball accessible to the Boroondara community. This lobbying was to continue for a further 17 YEARS!
Our aim was to provide a responsible, balanced and holistic netball program by catering for all levels and aspects of the sport in a happy, healthy environment. Our logo “Pathway to the Top” was to reflect the opportunity for participants to join a junior development program and achieve their personal best, whether that be as a player, umpire, coach or administratorn
In 1996 a group of local netball clubs – North Balwyn, Woodhouse Grove (now Central), Wesley (now Chatham) – created the Boroondara Netball Association. We ran our first competition in Spring of 1996 at Koonung Secondary College. This was a junior competition only, played on asphalt school courts.
In 1997, we started our first winter competition at Genazzano FCJ College in Kew. We hired 6 courts each Saturday, and ran the competition from one tent, and the BBQ and drink sales were conducted from another. We started with 31 teams.
By 1999, we had outgrown the facilities at Genazzano with 101 teams, and bid them farewell to move down the road to MLC in Kew. There we hired 8 courts each Saturday and ran the competition from a classroom that overlooked 6 of the courts. MLC ran a kiosk and BBQ.
The lack of dedicated facilities for netball, predominantly a women’s sport, was ongoing and frustrating. However, with invaluable assistance from MARK BIRRELL (former Liberal MP) and NIGEL KIRBY (former Mayor), the 2004 Boroondara Council, led by Mayor JUDITH VOCE, supported the concept and provided us with a “home” and much needed facilities. The Boroondara Netball Centre (8 outdoor courts) was opened in March 2005 and the Boroondara Sports Complex (4 court indoor stadium) in May 2006.
By 2008 we had once again outgrown our modest facility. Whilst court space was adequate, there were grossly insufficient toilet / change room facilities and kiosk, administration, first aid and storage space were all confined to one small room. Ironically, facilities for local male dominated sports were extensive and flourishing. We once again lobbied Council to cater for the exponential growth and popularity of netball in the City of Boroondara. With support from most Councillors - in particular DICK MENTING, CORAL ROSS and NICHOLAS TRAGUS - and ongoing help from former mayor JUDITH VOCE, our significantly upgraded facility was completed in 2011. We now boast a beautiful "home" with dedicated administration, storage, first aid and meeting areas and kitchen and change room facilities.
In 2015 it became clear that we needed additional courts at the Boroondara Netball Centre and once again began lobbying Council, but to no avail. In 2018, JOSH FRYDENBERG, who has always been a strong supporter of BNA, offered us an election commitment of $1.2million to fully fund an additional 4 courts. However the 2021 City of Boroondara Council REJECTED our proposal for an additional 4 courts leaving the funding languishing with the Federal Government.
Our membership has now swelled to over 3800 players, coaches, umpires and administrators. Members can achieve their personal “Pathway to the Top” whether that be at a “grass roots” level or at an elite level. There are over 200 community & school based teams playing in the domestic competition; Boroondara POWER Representative teams (13/U,15/U,17/U, 19U and Open) are selected each year to receive intensive coaching and higher level competition.
In 2009 we were successful in our application for a licence in the inaugural Victorian Netball League. Netball Victoria granted only 10 licences across Victoria to compete in this elite level competition and we have 3 teams -Championship, Division One and 19 and Under - playing as Boroondara EXPRESS (formerly Genesis). To date, we have had teams represented in finals almost every year. This competition underpins Melbourne VIXENS and the Collingwood MAGPIES in the Suncorp Super Netball League.
We now are able to provide a range of comprehensive programs including junior development, umpire & coach development and talent identification programs, enabling our members to participate in all aspects of the sport. We have the resources to raise funds for worthy causes in the wider community. The Boroondara Netball Association is now regarded in the community and at a state level as a pro-active and innovative organisation. This is due primarily to the commitment and enthusiasm of our management team and volunteers who are driven by a common goal – to fulfil our vision!