The Queensland Firebirds have named their Most Valuable Player Award the Laura Geitz Medal, honouring the team’s dual premiership winning captain, it was announced at the Gala Dinner & Awards event (Saturday, October 5).
Netball Queensland CEO Catherine Clark said the award recognised the enormous contribution that Geitz made to the game of netball and to the Queensland Firebirds.
“The MVP is someone who delivers a stellar on-court performance week-in, week-out and is also someone who inspires her teammates and lifts them when they really need it.
“Laura played with the Queensland Firebirds for 10 years and has left an indelible mark on the game. Not only has she contributed to the most successful period of the Firebirds’ history, she has inspired generations of netballers,” Clark said.
“To name our MVP Award after Laura is to honour a true great of our game. Laura was an amazing athlete, 71 test caps with the Diamonds and 169 games in the purple dress. On and off the court Laura’s career reflects what it means to be named an MVP, the qualities of a tremendous competitor and inspirational leader. She is the deserving recipient of such an honour.”
The inaugural HART Sapphire Series MVP Award is The Katie Walker Medal, named after current Carina Leagues Club Tigers player Katie Walker.
“Katie is an inspiration. She is a sensational netball player who is the walking embodiment of netball passion. She’s played netball for many years and through it all, has demonstrated incredible leadership, she nurtures her younger teammates and delivers a consistently good performance on the netball court. She’s amazing,” Clark said. “We could think of nobody more deserving than Katie Walker to name this award after.”
The Awards celebrated a year of Queensland netball, singling out the best players who delivered the strongest performance over the netball season.
Netball Queensland also celebrated Head Coach Roselee Jencke’s 10 years in the role.
“Roselee has been our most successful Firebirds coach and throughout those many successful years, which includes five grand final appearances and three wins (two back-to-back), has successfully created a strong and positive culture in our playing group.
“She’s an extraordinary coach with a raft of achievements to her name and we thank her for her decade of service to the Queensland Firebirds,” Clark said.
The event also paid tribute to retiring Firebirds Laura Clemesha and Caitlyn Nevins. Clark said the athletes had contributed to the wonderful culture at the Firebirds and they would be missed, wishing them every success in their future endeavours.
Around 300 netball faithful gathered to celebrate the season’s achievements at Howard Smith Wharves, including Super Netball, HART Sapphire Series, Ruby level and representative netball.
Clark said that even though the season wasn’t the most successful on-court for the Firebirds, there was a lot to celebrate.
“This has been an absolutely spectacular year for netball as our sport continues to grow, with rising ratings figure and growing attendance figures. We have completed our first season in the stunning new $44 million Queensland State Netball Centre and it has exceeded our expectations for creating a true home of netball and uniting our netball community.”
17U State Team MVP: Reilley Batcheldor
19U State Team MVP: Macy Gardner
Judy Sampson Memorial Award: Hana Barretto and Sarahpheinna Woulf
Queensland Fusion MVP: Rylie Holland
2019 Netball Queensland High Performance Coach of the Year: Simone Nalatu
2019 Ruby Series MVP: Martina Reekers
2019 HART Sapphire Series MVP: Katie Walker Medal: Hulita Veve
2019 Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds Volunteer of the Year: Belinda Lynch
2019 Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds Members’ Player of the Year: Gretel Tippett
2019 Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds Spirit Award: Tara Hinchliffe
2019 Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds Players’ Player of the Year: Gretel Tippett
2019 Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds Most Valuable Player/Laura Geitz Medal: Gretel Tippett
Congratulations to our debutantes:
- Lenize Potgieter
- Amy Sommerville
- Macy Gardner
- Maddie Hinchliffe
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