Netball Australia has launched an independent review to reset the sport’s strategy in the country following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Australia netball captain Liz Ellis will chair a review panel tasked with canvasing views and experiences of the sport’s key stakeholders.
Netball Australia hope the review will ensure the sustainability, prosperity and relevance of the sport long-term.
Ellis will be joined on the panel by Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and Wendy Machin, an experienced non-executive director and former MP.
Joe Pollard, a media executive and former Telstra chief marketing officer, completes the panel.
"The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the netball ecosystem and comes at a time when the competition to own the hearts and minds of women in sport is at an all-time high," said Netball Australia chief executive Marne Fechner.
"Without action, parts of netball will encounter considerable financial uncertainty.
"So, faced with this reality, the sport will take steps to ensure its not only future proofed, but that our strategy leading into 2027, our centenary, is designed to strengthen the entire netball community.
"Across the next two months our aim is to capture the voices and experiences of our entire Australian netball family at a scale that hasn’t been done before.
"We want to listen to their stories and understand what makes the sport great and where we can do better.
"Most importantly, we want to capture a collective ambition for our game and, in doing so, shape our future,
The panel will assess the financial, delivery and commercial model of netball in Australia, as well as the optimal future governance structure of netball,
This will include examining the roles of Netball Australia, member organisations, associations, clubs, Suncorp Super Netball and Suncorp Super Netball clubs.
Netball Australia is hoping the review will deliver strong and innovative strategies ahead of the 2027 Netball World Cup.
Netball Australia last month submitted a bid to host the tournament, with the 11-times winners proposing Sydney as the host city.
Sydney has previously hosted the event in 1991 and 2015, the last time Australia won the competition, while Perth staged it in 1967.
Netball Australia celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2027, and the governing body is aiming to mark the occasion by hosting the World Cup.
"Netball is the pre-eminent sport of choice for Australian women and girls, but like all sports, netball has experienced significant financial pressure across the system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," Ellis said.
"This review is an opportunity, not only to capture the pulse of the netball nation, but to understand what’s most important to people that love netball, from elite through to grass-roots, social, mixed and men’s netball.
"It’s also a chance to also understand what our commercial partners see as the future of our business.
"We need to ensure the sport has a contemporary strategy and structure.
"This is a unique opportunity for the sport to re-imagine and if necessary, reshape relevant features to ensure we can all bounce back stronger together.
The panel is expected to provide its first set of recommendations to Netball Australia by September.
The governing body has invited netball fans, participants and volunteers to participate in the review process.