Last month, ANN told you why you should vote for the Australian Netball Diamonds in the “Favourite Sports Team (AU/NZ)” category of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (KCA). Yesterday, the team won the award ahead of the Wallabies, the All Blacks, and the Silver Ferns – the three other teams that were shortlisted.
In 2015, the Diamonds won the Netball World Cup and the Constellation Cup, beating the New Zealand Silver Ferns in both competitions. The team’s new sparkling award reaffirms them as the darlings of Australian sport.
“It’s an absolute honour to be recognised across Australia and New Zealand … The team prides itself on being role-models for our young fans on and off the netball court … This award is terrific feedback that we’re engaging with our young fans in a meaningful way,” the team’s coach, Lisa Alexander, told Netball Australia.
Fans have taken to social media to praise the Diamonds for their success. One comment on the team’s Facebook page reads: “You never hear of the girls out on a wild night or on drugs. So proud of the girls – they represent Australia well.”
Earlier this month, the Netball Diamonds also won the “Destination NSW Team of the Year award” at the AIS Sports Performance Awards.
On Saturday, Diamonds Captain Laura Geitz told Mamamia why she thought the team is so formidable. “Being in the Diamonds – it requires more of you as an athlete,” she said. “That’s the thing that spurs everyone along. It’s also just really enjoying being on the team and getting to do what we love to do.”
“I was such a shy individual growing up, but the netball court and my team were this comfort zone where I just felt encouraged, empowered, and inspired … I still get that feeling when I step on the court with my current team,” Geitz added.
Last year, retired Australian netballer Liz Ellis wrote: “For women in many developing countries sport is a pastime that is considered at best a luxury and at worst a distraction from their roles in the home.” But KCA voters this year have proved that this is thankfully not the case in Australia.