Sports

‘Commitment and passion’: Ella-Duncan hails netball Indigenous round

Indigenous netball trailblazer Marcia Ella-Duncan insists the gesture by Super Netball clubs to wear outfits that honour Australias First People in this weekends round is not tokenism.

Ella-Duncan, the first Indigenous woman to represent the nation in netball and one of only two to do so, voiced her support at the launch of the uniforms the NSW Swifts and Giants will wear in the derby on Sunday.

Fashion statement: Marcia Ella-Duncan and her granddaughter Gianna with Swifts Paige Hadley and Maddy Turner, left, and Giants    Jo Harten and Sam Poolman at the launch of their Indigenous round uniforms.

Fashion statement: Marcia Ella-Duncan and her granddaughter Gianna with Swifts Paige Hadley and Maddy Turner, left, and Giants Jo Harten and Sam Poolman at the launch of their Indigenous round uniforms.

Credit:Narelle Spangher

The 1987 World Cup player voiced her view as Jemma Mi Mi of the Queensland Firebirds wrote of her "disappointment" at being the only player with Indigenous heritage in the elite eight-team competition.

“Knowing that Im the only Indigenous player in Super Netball is a bit upsetting,” she wrote for Players Voice. “I know how much talent there is out there. Its just not being seen.”

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Netball NSWs chief executive officer Carolyn Campbell told The Sydney Morning Herald of her organisations commitment to rectifying the situation by doing such things as staging a series of Koori carnivals and appointing talent scouts to scour pathways and clinics.

“Our membership of Indigenous players is only 5.3 per cent, and thats where we need to build our numbers,” she said.

“Theres a number of Indigenous kids coming through, and by having this focus I think well see more come through. Weve had fabulous players through our system; now its about highlighting their achievements to show the next generation what they can achieve.”

This is something that goes to the heart of who we are as a people.

Marcia Ella-Duncan

Ella-Duncan, whose brothers Mark, Glen and Gary represented the national rugby union team in the 1980s, was adamant the sports gesture to celebrate Indigenous culture mattered.

“This is not a superficial demonstration,” she said. “This is something that goes to the heart of who we are as a people; who we are as a sporting organisation. Our players wear these dresses with tremendous pride.

“Year-on-year, as netball celebrates the Indigenous round, we actually take it to a new level each time.
“I think we show tremendous courage and tremendous commitment and passion when we put our stars on the court, on the TV and in front of our audiences to see how we celebrate – not just the strength in Aboriginal communities – but the power that is linking the female communities that we join together for a just cause and achieving justice and recognition for
Australias First People, [which] is at the heart of the reconciliationRead More – Source

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