The Melbourne Vixens’ preparations for a title defence will ramp up when they host the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Ballarat Sports Events Centre, for two pre-season games across the weekend of 10-11 April.
The matches will form part of the Vixens Bring it Home campaign, that will see the Suncorp Super Netball championship trophy travel to parts of Victoria, highlighting stories in the netball community in the lead up to Round 1 on Saturday, 1 May. Fans will also catch a glimpse of the trophy at the Melbourne Vixens Fan Day at Federation Square in Melbourne on Thursday, 15 April.
Alongside the two pre-season matches, the Vixens will hold a community netball clinic on the Saturday morning, while Netball Victoria will host coaching and umpiring professional development opportunities for accredited officials looking to build on their skills and knowledge. Interested participants can find out more information on netballvic.com.au.
Melbourne Vixens head coach, Simone McKinnis says the Vixens are looking forward to playing in front of the Ballarat fans.
“We were really disappointed not to get to Ballarat last year, so we’re excited to be bringing live sport back to regional Victoria and meeting the fans who supported us from afar in 2020 while we were in the Queensland hub,” said McKinnis.
“Success for the season starts with the preparation now, so with the aim to take it all the way again this year and be holding that trophy at the end of the season, we’re looking forward to playing against the Thunderbirds, to help solidify our combinations and game plans ahead of the season.”
State Member for Buninyong, Michaela Settle says the Vixens visit will be of enormous benefit to local netballers.
“Seeing the Vixens play in Ballarat will be a huge boost for all of our local netball clubs. Not only will there be two games with some of Australia’s best athletes on show, but there will be training sessions for players, coaches and umpires helping to develop local skills," said Settle.
State Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison says the opportunity to view exceptional athletes locally will be truly special for the community.
“It will be great to see netball superstars Melbourne Vixens and Adelaide Thunderbirds in action at the Ballarat Sports Events Centre. The Vixens and Thunderbirds are elite athletes and are important role models for young netballers to play the game and be active. It is fantastic for Ballarat fans to have the opportunity to see them play locally," said Addison.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney, said Council was thrilled to welcome the Melbourne Vixens to Ballarat.
"We are delighted to have such elite sportswomen competing in Ballarat. It's a wonderful opportunity not just for women's sport but for sport in general, to have athletes of the Vixens' calibre visiting our City and passing on their skills to our future sports stars."
Originally scheduled for a Ballarat pre-season match in April 2020, the Vixens were forced to cancel due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Tickets for the Ballarat pre-season matches will go on sale through Ticketek on Thursday, 25 March at 9am for Melbourne Vixens members and 12pm for the general public.
SATURDAY, 10 APRIL
Community netball clinic with Melbourne Vixens players
4pm – Melbourne Vixens vs Adelaide Thunderbirds at Ballarat Sports Events Centre – home of Wendouree Netball Association
SUNDAY, 11 APRIL
12pm – Melbourne Vixens vs Adelaide Thunderbirds at Ballarat Sports Events Centre – home of the Wendouree Netball Association