Sport

Ladies Day to carry extra meaning at Katandra

By Tyler Maher

It is Ladies Day at Katandra Recreation Reserve today — in every sense of the word. Not only are the Kats celebrating all of the women in their lives — and raising funds to help the next generation — with a function during the final Murray Football Netball League clash of the regular season against Moama, they will also toast to some extraordinary milestones on the netball court.

A trio of Kats will notch up outstanding milestones across the day, with nods also given to more achievements already completed this campaign. Tamara McLarty and Jacinta Pollard will take to the court for their 300th games of senior netball today, with Teagan Hickey running out for the 200th time.

Earlier this season it was Rachael Ford who joined the 200 club, with Nicole Damon clocking the target twice over, completing her 400th match. It means that by the time the dust settles on today’s action, the five will have celebrated 1400 games of senior netball between them — a brilliant effort in any book.

When you add a 100-game celebration for netball director Dani Goudie into the mix as well, it has certainly been the year of the milestone out at Katandra.

But what keeps these netballers coming back for more, especially when most no longer live in the area and run around after a combined total of nine children?

The answer is simple — family.

The Kats are a family club through and through, something all of the milestone women attested to.

‘‘It’s just like a big family, you come off the court and you tag team (and help out with looking after the kids),’’ Damon said.

‘‘When my child was diagnosed with an illness, the club just rallied around us, it was something I would never have thought that a club would do, but the whole town was totally amazing, they were fantastic.’’

For cousins McLarty and Pollard the family connection is stronger than most, with their respective fathers Kevin and Geoff Teague — along with McLarty’s brother Wes — all passing the 300-game milestone at the club as well.

‘‘We were going to the footy when we were little kids and watching our dads and uncles play,’’ McLarty said. ‘

‘It’s great for our family because we use it as a bit of a catch up, you don't have to organise family events you just catch up at footy. ‘‘We’ve celebrated a few family birthdays and things like that at the club over the years.’’

Hickey and Ford — along with the rest of the women — have also forged lifelong friendships through being involved at Katandra.

‘‘We’ve got some really great friendships at the club and it’s lovely to continue to play with a really good bunch of girls every week,’’ Hickey said.

‘‘For Rach and I we played all of our junior netball together, you build lifelong friendships at football and netball clubs and Katandra is definitely one of those clubs that you can go there knowing that you’ll always know someone and you can build friendships very quickly.’’

Today’s function will help raise money for the club to buy new netball dresses for its 11-and-under side, helping pave the way for another wave of Katandra netballers to kick-start their journey on the court.

• In other matches across the region today, Congupna will put its finals hopes on the line against Barooga, needing a win to keep its season alive.

If The Road falters, the winner of the clash between Tongala and Nathalia could be waiting in the wings to claim the spoils.

Echuca United hosts Numurkah, Finley travels to take on Rumbalara, Mulwala faces Cobram and Tungamah tackles Deniliquin in the other fixtures.