Geelong Netball Club is preparing to open its 2021 campaign next Wednesday after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s Victorian Netball League season.
Club president Kerri Scott speaks to Luke Voogt about the Cougars’ and the Flyers’ hopes for this season.
Tell us about you…
I’ve lived in Torquay for 50 years after moving from Melbourne.
My husband Peter’s a local builder and we have the Hotondo Homes franchise in Torquay.
I’ve got two daughters and one, Sarah, is expecting, so that will be my first grandchild.
I played junior netball and several years of senior D grade netball at Torquay.
I became involved with the committee and as a coach through my daughters, and I’m now a life member of the club.
How did you get involved with Geelong Netball Club?
It began with my daughter Sarah playing for the Geelong Flyers – our junior development side. I joined as treasurer.
Later the Flyers and the Geelong Cougars, who play in the Victorian Netball League (VNL), became one entity under Geelong Netball Club.
Six years ago the then-president asked if I could fill in for him. And I’m still here! Sarah’s now manager of netball for AFL Barwon.
What have been the highlights of your role?
We were premiers in 2019 and that was a massive achievement. Some of the Casey Demons players we came up against in grand final play Suncorp Super Netball – Australia’s top league – like Erin Bell and Emma Ryde.
Now one of our girls, Allie Smith, plays for the Vixens, while Mel Bragg plays for Collingwood, which is a testament to the Geelong Netball Club pathway that they’ve reached the pinnacle of netball.
How is Geelong Netball Club different to other clubs in the VNL?
We’re not a typical club – we don’t have a home base. We play most of our games at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Parkville.
We have a couple of home games this year at Christian College, Highton, on May 16 and July 25, which is exciting and we’re hoping to have good crowds there.
We have an all-in approach. It’s about looking after the whole player, not just their sporting ability.
We’ve got an amazing group of coaches who work with the players with their work and school commitments.
The players are great role models and would be fantastic people to employ; they’re very dedicated to what they do.
How have you coped with COVID-19?
It was an easy year for me because there was nothing I needed to do – everything was on hold.
We’re very lucky because we’ve got an amazing list of coaches – they checked on the players’ welfare throughout COVID-19.
We had trials at Geelong Grammar late last year, which were difficult because the health advice changed week-to-week.
What do you like to do locally?
We just bought a house in Apollo Bay, so we love going down the coast because Torquay is a bit busier than when I moved here.
Apollo Bay feels a bit more like the old Torquay. We’ve got a nine-month-old Jack Russell terrier, George, and he loves to go to the beaches there.
George is also an office dog, so he goes to work every day.