World Netball congratulates the City of Brisbane on the announcement confirming that it will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and declares its intention to work with Netball Australia to make a compelling case for Netball’s inclusion in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.
As the first step towards Olympic inclusion, a sport has to be governed by an IOC ‘recognised’ federation – World Netball achieved this recognition in 1995 and has enjoyed a good relationship with the IOC since then.
World Netball acknowledges that the best opportunity to showcase Netball on the Olympic stage will come when the host nation is a strong Netball nation and one that supports and proposes Netball’s inclusion to the IOC as one of its additional sports. As Netball Australia currently holds the number 1 world ranking and Sydney has already been confirmed as the host venue for the Netball World Cup 2027, 2032 provides the perfect opportunity. World Netball is aware that Organising Committee and IOC decisions on this matter will be made many years from now and so we will use the time available to work with our colleagues at Netball Australia to present a compelling case for inclusion.
Netball is a sport that was originally developed by women for women and girls at a time when their opportunities to participate in and achieve through sport were very limited. The sport initially spread across the Commonwealth through the education sector but soon developed and grew. It now has more than 20 million participants across 76 Member nations and 5 continents and TV, digital audiences and social media followers are rapidly growing. Netball is a core sport in the Commonwealth Games programme and the 5 top-performing nations at world level are spread across 5 continents. Netball is fun, easy to play and attracts young girls and boys from the age of five. The top age group for social media followers and fans is the 25-34 age group.
Netball’s World Cup attracts record crowds. When the event was held in Liverpool 2019, over 100,000 tickets were sold to over 30,000 unique spectators from across 40 nations; over 6 million people attended, watched and/or followed the event which achieved a Net Promoter Score of 81%. Over 30,000 adults were inspired by the event to start playing netball or play netball more, and 60% of spectators were inspired to increase their participation in sport or active recreation as a result of attending the event.
World Netball’s recently launched strategy focuses on further growing global participation, reach, revenue, impact and capacity. It also commits to the sport being ‘open to all’, with a focus on three core strategies to GROW, to PLAY and to INSPIRE, all underpinned by great GOVERNANCE.
Over recent years the number of participants and Member nations has increased and more men and boys are participating in Netball. There is significant growth potential, and World Netball is committed to supporting increased engagement from men and boys while building on its female-focused foundations that have shaped the culture and values of the sport.
World Netball will continue to drive game development and the worldwide delivery of thrilling major events – which will include the further development and promotion of Netball’s modified format of the sport, Fast5 – has 5 players a side and features dynamic rules changes, shorter quarters, power plays and super shots.
World Netball is also in the process of establishing a new Foundation to harness the power of Netball to change lives by creating a vehicle to promote, support and fundraise and partner with NGOs to deliver life-changing projects through Netball.
World Netball President, Liz Nicholl CBE commented, “All our Member Nations are excited at the potential of being part of the Olympic Family in 2032. We are committed to ensuring that our case for inclusion adds significant value to this very special Olympic movement.”
Netball Australia Chair, Marina Go, added: “We are 11 years away, but the work starts now to see netball included in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.
“With World Netball and the netball community supporting us, we will put forward a compelling case for our sport to be played on the world’s biggest stage.
“Australia is an incredibly strong netball nation – it is played by 1.2 million men, women and children and the Origin Australian Diamonds are ranked No.1 in the world.”