The Confident Girls Foundation and Netball Scoop are excited to announce that we are joining forces to collaborate on Mentor’s Reach. The programme is an extension of Netball Scoop’s eight year long uniform drive, which has delivered much needed sporting kit to women across Africa, the Pacific and the Middle East.
Our first project will gift excess uniforms, donated by Netball Australia and Netball New South Wales, to nations attending a PacificAus Sport event currently being held in Sydney. Attendees Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, who will take to the courts alongside Singapore, have previously been recipients of the uniform drive and will welcome this further commitment.
Confident Girls Foundation director Vicki Gillespie said, “It is such as shame to see old uniforms and merchandise go to waste when they are no longer commercially appropriate. This initiative gives us an avenue to ensure we are putting these dresses back into communities that may not have access to the same resources that we do. It is our pleasure to help our Pacific neighbours and guests with this project and we look forward to the Australian based project to follow soon.”
How did Mentor’s Reach start?
Yvonne and Geva Mentor first donated second hand netball clothing to Zambia in 2013, and linked up with Netball Scoop a year later. With Australia the second highest consumer of clothes in the world – sending 23 kg of clothing per person per year, to land fill each year* – Netball Scoop saw an opportunity to support local and overseas communities in need, whilst also reducing a small amount of this wastage.
Since that time, and supported by donations from clubs across England and Australia, tonnes of goods have made their way across oceans to new homes. For girls and women using balls made of rolled up plastic bags, tree branches that double as goal posts, and where mud or dirt courts are the norm, access to equipment and uniforms is game-changing.
Netball Australia has been empowering women for decades, and in 2017 the Confident Girls Foundation was officially born. Aiming to help communities overcome disadvantage and for women and girls to find their strengths, the Confident Girls Foundation addresses drivers of gender bias, including economic barriers, isolation, gendered stereotypes and other barriers to physical activity.
Geva Mentor said, “To be involved with Netball Scoop and the Confident Girls Foundation to continue to provide netball uniforms to disadvantaged communities overseas and in Australia is very fulfilling. Being part of a team is extremely uplifting, and uniforms enable that pride and belonging to the identity you can form together.
“We are providing more than just clothing, we’re instilling pride, care and togetherness.”
How can you help?
Unfortunately the uniforms in this first project are unable to be gifted within Australia due to branding rights, but Mentor’s Reach hopes to support local netball communities in the future.
While focused on this first project, we can’t accept other donations of clothing. However, if you are upgrading your netball gear, and have storage available, we would love you to hang on to it for our next event. Easily transportable items such as netball uniforms, bibs, socks, umpires equipment, training ladders, deflated balls and pumps are always welcome. Please keep an eye on our socials for further information.
*Figure supplied by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment