Celebrating good times: excitement for 75th anniversary hits fever pitch

STAR OF THE SHOW: Former Diamond Catherine Cox is the guest speaker locked in for ONA's 75th anniversary ball next month. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
STAR OF THE SHOW: Former Diamond Catherine Cox is the guest speaker locked in for ONA's 75th anniversary ball next month. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Toyota Cup season may in recess for another week, but the wheels are still in motion at Orange Netball Association (ONA) in a big way as preparations continue for its 75th anniversary gala celebration next month.

Although the 2017 season has and will continue to be a massive nod to the astounding longevity of the sport in the colour city, ONA will mark the occasion with one huge celebration dinner on Saturday, August 5 – aptly dubbed the 75th Anniversary Net-Ball.

“Everyone is really looking forward to the night, the committee has been working pretty hard recently to get all the finer details in place, but we have now and it’s really coming together,” ONA president Jacki Jasprizza enthused.

“We’ve had so much success across so many levels, and so much growth in the sport over that time so it’ll be a really great chance for all the current players and former players, from grassroots to representative and then even higher as well, to come together, celebrate and reminisce.”

A big drawcard for the event is the guest speaker ONA has managed to secure – former Australian Diamond Catherine Cox.

Primarily a shooter, Cox debuted for Australia in 1997 and went on to play more than 100 Test Matches – she was the fourth player to reach the century mark – winning two World Championships and a Commonwealth Games gold medal along the way.

She also skippered the NSW Swifts to the inaugural ANZ Championship title in 2008, winning player of the final too.

She retired in 2014, after a stint with the Melbourne Vixens.

“Cath is on board which is great, she’ll no doubt be a really good guest speaker and I know everyone’s looking forward to hearing her,” Jasprizza said.

“We’ve also got quite a few other things planned, like speaking to life members and a focus on all the decades, along with a few other surprises.”

Guests are expected to travel from all over for the night, which will be held at Orange Ex-Services Club.

The Heydeys will be providing the night’s entertainment and tickets are available from the club, Jasprizza said she’s confident of filling the 288 capacity.

The Toyota Cup season resumes next weekend, on Saturday, July 22.