A Kununurra mum has been recognised as an Australian sporting leader for her work in expanding a local club and helping indigenous children access competitions.
Kununurra Netball Association coach Petina Pitt-Lancaster was named the WA winner in the 2019 Australia Post One Netball Community Awards.
Ms Pitt-Lancaster was selected for being an advocate for young women in sport, resulting in a significant increase in the growth of netball in the East Kimberley as well as the inclusion of more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players.
“I am very grateful to Australia Post for this award, which really recognises the growth of our club here, particularly through the inclusion of more indigenous players,” she said.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in enrolments in netball, and it’s a game which has brought our community together.
“It’s especially rewarding to see young girls in the 10 to 20 age group feeling more comfortable and confident to keep going with this sport.”
KNA vice-president Rachel Fewster said Ms Pitt-Lancaster had been responsible for a 40 per cent increase in club enrolments.
“Petina goes above and beyond her role as coach, by completing enrolments, transporting players to training and games, assisting with fundraisers and approaching agencies to support players financially and building a supportive and inclusive culture,” she said.
“She is seen as an advocate for young women in sport, particularly the 14 to 20 years age group and her enthusiasm for netball and its social, community and health benefits has spread across the community.
“She champions the sport as a pathway for positive change for young girls. This has resulted in an increased number of junior netball teams, an increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander player intake, and more girls wanting to play at the senior level.”
Petina’s prizes included a $1,000 Australia Post Mastercard gift card for the Kununurra Netball Association, a netball signed by the 2019 Australian Diamonds team and a visit from former West Coast Fever defender Josie Janz-Dawson to the Kununurra Netball Association.
The Australia Post One Netball Community Awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate community champions across the country who go above and beyond to ensure that everyone, of all backgrounds and abilities, are welcome in netball.
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