Costly fallout with Gina Rinehart almost resulted in Australian Diamonds NOT FEATURING in crucial World Cup warm-up tournament in South Africa
- Australia were close to withdrawing from Quad Series in Cape Town next month
- Follows mining magnate Gina Rinehart pulling $15 million sponsorship recently
- Netball Australia have since confirmed Diamonds will be heading to South Africa
- Visit Victoria will be the chief sponsor of Stacey Marinkovich’s squad in 2023
The fallout with mining magnate Gina Rinehart almost resulted in the Australian Diamonds not participating in a major international netball tournament next month.
On Friday, Netball Australia (NA) confirmed Stacey Marinkovich’s squad will compete in the Quad Series in South Africa from January 22-26 against England, New Zealand and the hosts.
It is a crucial hit-out ahead of the World Cup – also in Cape Town – which starts on July 28.
After Rinehart – through her company Hancock Prospecting – withdrew $15 million of sponsorship, Netball Australia faced an uncertain future financially.
The Victorian Government – through Visit Victoria – stepped in and will be the main sponsor of the Diamonds, but that deal doesn’t start until next year.
The fallout with mining magnate Gina Rinehart almost resulted in the Australian Diamonds not participating in a major international netball tournament next month
Netball Australia has confirmed Donnell Wallam and her teammates will compete in January’s Quad Series in South Africa
In October, the Diamonds playing group refused to wear branding on their clothing featuring Rinehart’s business in the Constellation Cup versus New Zealand.
It followed Indigenous player Donnell Wallam voicing concerns over historical comments made by the company’s founder, and Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock about First Nations people.
He infamously suggested Indigenous Australians should be sterilised in the 1980s.
Netball Australia boss Kelly Ryan said a ‘wide range of factors’ were considered before confirming the Diamonds will grace the court in Cape Town.
‘Netball Australia assesses all international opportunities for the Australian Diamonds, considering a wide range of factors including travel and timing,’ Ryan told News Corp.
Netball Australia recently unveiled significant kit changes which will come into effect next year
The current uniform consists of a short dress, but players will be allowed to choose what they want to wear from 2023
‘The Australian Diamonds playing group was aware the withdrawal of the (Hancock) sponsorship could have an impact on Netball Australia’s plans and activities.
‘Netball Australia is incredibly pleased that the Diamonds will be participating in January’s Netball Quad Series, which will be a key lead-up to the World Cup.
‘The Australian Diamonds will come up against the some of the world’s top netball nations in what is an important opportunity to work on playing combinations and on-court connections.’
Earlier this month, Netball Australia also unveiled plans to give players and umpires more choice in what they wear during matches, in a bid to improve inclusivity in the sport.
The governing body said the new guidelines will ‘recognise the various individual preferences and religious beliefs of netballers.’
Players will be allowed to choose between wearing a dress, singlet, bodysuit, short sleeve or long sleeve shirt, skirt, shorts and long pants.