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Swifts pay tribute to heritage

Swifts pay tribute to NSW netball heritage with Waratah dressIt’s long been the proud emblem of New South Wales and this year the Swifts will don the Waratah for their Suncorp Super Netball title defence.

Etched into the pattern of the main 2022 playing dress, which has been designed by Valour Sport, the flower has a long association with netball in the state.

Before the advent of the National Netball League and the formation of the Swifts in 1997, the Waratah was worn with pride by generations of Opens State Team representatives and is still donned by NSW 17U and 19U State Teams today.

Head coach Briony Akle said the recognition of the game’s pioneers in the state was vital for the Club to continue to thrive.

“Long before the Swifts existed there were pioneering women who represented NSW with the Waratah on their chests, and without their efforts, our Club would never have come into existence,” she said.

“However, the Waratah is not just about paying tribute to the past but also looking to the future. It remains the emblem of our underage State Teams, many of whom are coming through our pathway in the QBE Swifts Academy.

“For these young players to see the Waratah on the Swifts dress builds greater connection.

“For the generations of players, coaches and administrators who paved the way in the half-century before, the Waratah serves as a reminder that their efforts are not forgotten.”

Another feature on the dress is the inclusion of an Indigenous turtle totem which has been designed by Indigenous pathway player Tarsha Hawley.

Hawley, who was a member of the QBE Swifts Academy last year, designed the Swifts’ 2021 Indigenous dress and will do the same in 2022.

Based in the Hunter Valley, she originally hails from Nyngan in central NSW and represents the UTS Randwick Sparks in the Netball NSW Premier League, having previously played for the Central Coast Heart.

Hawley said she was delighted to see her design included in the Swifts’ Red uniform.

“It is a real honour and I have loved the opportunity to work with the Club again this year,” she said.

“The turtle symbolises patience, stability, perseverance, protection, healing, transformation and finding ways to move forward and live through heavy times.

“Using the turtle symbolizes all the work it takes as an athlete from youth to adult.”

Matthew Knight, Managing Director of Valour Sport, said the company was really pleased with the end result of a project which started last year.

“Having had the opportunity to work with both the NSW Swifts and Netball NSW over the past number of years we’ve learned so much about the rich history and heritage of game in this state,” he said.

“The Swifts have been leaders in the female sport space for over 25 years, and netball has been the leader for almost a century so it was a huge brief, but the final product is one that we feel really delivers.

“We would like to thank the Swifts and Tarsha for the opportunity to work with them on this and look forward to a huge year of Super Netball.”

PIC : Narelle Spangher/Netball NSW.

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