Whilst the Netball Scoop brand came into existence in 2011, the Netball Scoop story actually began a decade earlier with a group of devoted fans discussing netball in online forums.
One of the websites used was Sportline, a New Zealand site concentrating on women in sport. It didn’t take long for the owner of Sportline, Sandy Joblin, to realise there was demand for a place completely dedicated to netball, so she started the Netball Online forum. This site grew steadily in popularity over the coming years, especially when Netball Australia discontinued their own forum in 2005.
By 2011 however, Sandy was looking to step into the background. It was fortuitous that at the same time, Tanya Ahrens from Adelaide was starting up her own news site called Netball Scoop. The pair agreed to merge their sites into one, and that led to the formation of this website we have now.
In 2016, after five years of growth, Tanya saw the need for further expansion and endorsed the forming of a committee, comprising of dedicated Scoop contributors to ensure the longevity and growth of the brand. The makeup of the committee has changed quite a bit since that time, but its goals haven’t.
Netball Scoop has worked hard to establish itself as the foremost source of netball content for the sport’s fans. Our mission is to keep growing this fanbase by continuing to share the stories and important news pieces which impact the sport, its athletes and greater community. It is our hope that by continuing the discussion, Netball Scoop can grow the global coverage of netball and bring it to a wider audience.
Our group of writers have covered netball from all over the world, from major international tournaments to the main domestic leagues. Perhaps one of Netball Scoop’s finest moments was our coverage of the 2019 World Cup, where our team in Liverpool managed to cover each day’s play in detail, put it all together in a newsletter, and get it published within a matter of hours, so people could be up to speed ahead of the next day’s play.
Our coverage in recent times has been enhanced by the thoughts of some great netball minds, including former Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander. Meanwhile, undoubtedly one of the biggest improvements has been the introduction of a terrific group of photographers who provide us with so many memorable images. Some of the other things we’ve accomplished during our existence so far are; producing online magazines, creating podcasts and hosting live streaming events.
At Netball Scoop, we also think it’s important to cover some of the issues off court. A shining example of this was our series on “Fertility and Elite Female Athletes”. Managing Editor Jenny Sinclair profiled three top international players, Geva Mentor, Nat Medhurst and Sonia Mkoloma and wrote about the way they were dealing with their fertility struggles. This series of articles was a finalist in the 2020 Sport Australia Media Awards.
Another highlight was when we supported Geva’s mum Yvonne Mentor as she called for donations of netball uniforms and equipment. Yvonne was overwhelmed by the response and was able to disperse large amounts of netball gear to those less fortunate in the African country of Zambia. After the success of that effort, NS has since run charity drives on other occasions for uniforms and equipment.
We also have a large social media presence today which allows us to keep fans updated with all of the latest netball news, as well as live tweeting games, providing scores and stats, and even having a laugh or two by showing the lighter side of netball. And yes, the old Netball Scoop forum is still going. It’s definitely much quieter than it used to be in the halcyon days, but there is still an audience there.
We all enjoy what we do at Netball Scoop, because we have that one thing in common – a love of netball and a wish to share the stories associated with it. And we’re always on the lookout for new members. If you’re interested in joining Netball Scoop as a writer or photographer, or perhaps behind the scenes as an editor or even part of the committee, please get in touch… email@example.com