Article courtesy of the Hervey Bay RSL.

GRANTS: Cosmos Netball Club thinks outside of the court to provide earning potential and development opportunities for teenage athletes.

Since 2016, the Hervey Bay RSL has sponsored the club with an annual Hervey Bay RSL Community Grant of $3000 to help run their Cosmos Umpire Development Program, which enables teenagers to be paid a small wage as mentors, junior umpires and trainee umpires.

This opportunity gives teenagers the chance to earn some money, while still staying connected to the sport, their club and the community.

President Sonia England said Cosmos has long held an ethos of developing a love of the game, which not only refers to netball, but sport in general.

So, there’s often a major disappointment when it comes to teenage members giving up the sport to make time for work.

“We have found over previous years that we lose players once they reach employment age to part-time jobs, with many girls upset at having to give up netball once they enter part-time work,” Sonia said.

“So, Cosmos identified a way to merge the love of netball with part-time employment.

“We identify experienced teenagers from our existing pool who met our requirements as an Umpire Mentor, meaning they have a high level of experience, confidence, self-esteem, and strong will to support and encourage our younger in-experienced umpires.

“We then offer them permanent roles for the season as a mentor and a place in our Umpire Development Program.

“The feedback since we launched this program in 2015 has been overwhelmingly positive on all levels.”

Sonia said the funds received by the RSL is vital in delivering the program each year.

“The sponsorship provides opportunities for teenage athletes to remain engaged in sports, encourages community spirit and helps develop them for leadership roles in the future.

“Without the grant, the development program just wouldn’t be possible.”

To find out more about the club, visit cosmos.qld.netball.com.au.

Image provided by the Hervey Bay RSL.

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