Australia will host the 14th Netball World Cup in 2015, using the event to grow the sport and empower young women.
During NWC2015, the International Netball Federation Congress will be held in Sydney to identify netball’s vision of how the sport will grow and develop.
NWC2015 Chief Executive Marne Fechner said that while she is excited about hosting the competition in a 17,000 seat stadium, empowering women is the priority.
“We are excited about what is happening in 2015…we are making inroads in terms of professionalism,” Ms Fechner said.
“It creates more interest in the sport and more for sports players to aspire to.
“[We are] lucky there is not a male counterpart that we have to aspire to.”
On the court action is paramount to the event but Fechner said encouraging girls from rural areas and nations, other than Australia and New Zealand, is key because it instills strong leadership skills in young athletes.
Netball Australia supported the INF launching the GOAL program in India, aimed at empowering young women in disadvantaged parts of the nation.
The GOAL program kicked off in 2006 and has since reached over 9665 young women.
International Netball Federation President Molly Rhone said these initiatives aimed to be inclusive.
“Sport is one thing that brings everybody together, it knows no barriers,” she said.
Sydney’s Olympic Park will host 64 matches from August 7 until August 15.
The 16 nation competition will feature sides from all 5 netball regions (Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Oceania), showcasing the world’s best talent.
The NWC, formerly the Netball World Championships, is played every four years across the world, with Australia last hosting the competition in 1991.