NETBALL’S first representative in the Hampden league’s hall of fame is happy to fly the flag for her sport.
Camperdown netballing great Kathy Hall was officially inducted into the HFNL hall of fame on Wednesday night, alongside South Warrnambool senior games record-holder Stephen Anderson and long-time Cobden and Hampden interleague trainer Les Sumner.
“It’s a great honour,” Hall said. “I think it’s great for netball to have that recognition.”
Hall was among code-hoppers who made up Camperdown’s foundation netball team in 1987, along with her sister Simone Riches, Shirley Wilson, Sheena Russell, Jenny O’Neil and Hinkley sisters Dianne and Christine.
“We were basketballers, really,” Hall said. “We all followed the footy.
“When we played our first grand final, we had to go to the showgrounds here at Warrnambool on concrete courts, with our few supporters watching – our mothers, basically.
“It’s changed a lot.”
Hall has long stayed involved at the Magpies, coaching her daughters Rachel, Stacey and Caitlin at various stages, and was head coach for the club in 2014, as well as holding down other roles over the years.
Sumner, who was forced to give up footy after a farm accident in 1957, found his way into becoming a trainer through his work with St John’s Ambulance.
“We had some friends in St John’s Ambulance doing that and they asked me in ’72 to be a trainer,” he said.
Sumner said he was “overwhelmed” by the honour of being inducted into the hall of fame. “It’s a great honour to be recognised, it really is, and to be recognised by the players,” he said.
Three-time South Warrnambool premiership player Stephen Anderson was proud to be recognised for a career that spanned three decades, crediting the quality of the players around him for his longevity.
Originally from Bushfield, which had no under 18 side, he followed some mates across to the Roosters in the early 1980s and remained there until 2006 – bar a stint with Collingwood in 1991.
“The premierships – that’s what you play for – and playing my first game at Collingwood were highlights,” he said. “But just playing with all the players … just the friendships (was great).”
Current players Andrew McCarthy, from Warrnambool’s senior football team, and Emma Wright, from Camperdown’s grand final-bound open netball team, were presented life memberships for reaching the 250-game milestone this season.
McCarthy is a three-time premiership player with the Blues and a veteran of nine grand finals. He represented Hampden in its 2014 interleague match.
Wright is the Magpies’ games record-holder with 402 appearances across all grades for the Leura Oval-based club and won the club’s A grade best and fairest in 2010 and ’11.
Shirley McSwain, who was a HFNL netball umpire from 1990-2010, was also presented with a life membership.
She attained C, B and A grade umpire badges, and also umpired the World Police and Fire Games.
McSwain was a HFNL umpire mentor from 1997-2016 and was a founding member of the HFNL umpiring panel in 2004.
Celebrated netball coach Gaye Batt also received life membership for her work at Warrnambool and Koroit.
She led Warrnambool’s 17 and under side to six consecutive flags from 1994-1999 and coached the A grade side to a premiership in 2000.
She led Koroit to two top-grade flags, in 2001 and 2007, and was the Saints’ 13 and under premiership coach in 2008. Batt also served as an interleague coach, league executive member for two years and has 21 years’ umpiring to her credit.