The Gold Coast Titans are shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with in 2022, and it turns out it won’t just be on the Rugby League field.
After weeks of speculation, the Titans have today confirmed they’re expanding their sporting footprint on the Coast and launching into the world of netball.
Titans CEO Steve Mitchell made the exciting announcement from the club’s Parkwood headquarters on Wednesday, revealing they’ll be entering a team into Netball Queensland’s Sapphire Series competition next year.
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“For us as a Club, it’s about providing talented kids on the Gold Coast a pathway to elite competition that allows them to stay locally on the Coast,” Mr Mitchell said.
“You’ve seen this in our NRL program with young players like AJ Brimson and Moeaki Fotuaika progressing from our Junior Titans System all the way to State of Origin.
“Our NRLW side is stacked with local girls who want to make their community proud and represent the region where they grew up.
“We are thrilled that we can now offer that pathway to the thousands of young netballers that play the sport on the Coast.”
Former World Cup and Commonwealth Games winning Silver Fern Temepara Bailey, who is also the mother of Titans hooker Erin Clark, will coach the Titans inaugural side.
“Our purpose as a Club is to make our communities proud, inspire them through energy and unite them through success,” Mr Mitchell told reporters.
“With Temepara guiding our netball high-performance program and pathways, we’ve got no doubt that we can achieve that purpose.
“Temepara is one of the true greats of the sport, but aside from being a quality netballer, she is also a fantastic person who demonstrates our Club values.”
If successful, Mr Mitchell said the club’s next goal would be to join the Suncorp Super Netball competition.
“We aspire to eventually add a Titans team to the Suncorp Super Netball competition,” he said.
“Our brand would then sit across three elite competitions including SSN, NRL and NRLW and provide pathways from grassroots to the professional level across these sports”.
The club’s expansion into netball, set to rival the Melbourne Storm’s partnership with Sunshine Coast Lightning, has been welcomed by Netball Queensland High Performance Director Demelza Fellowes.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be welcoming the Titans into the HART Sapphire Series,” Fellowes said.
“Their commitment to netball ensures the next wave of unearthed gems can access world class high performance environment on the Gold Coast, this can only mean good things for netball and women’s sport in Queensland.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how the influence of the professional NRL club can lead the way and change the game for this next growth phase for the HART Sapphire Series.”