The Collingwood Magpies and Melbourne Vixens have relocated to Queensland to keep the Suncorp Super Netball season alive, thanks to support from the Sunshine Coast Council.
The Melbourne-based teams left Victoria ahead of their Round 5 matches due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Vixens have been based in Queensland for the past four weeks, while the Magpies flew to the Sunshine Coast after Saturday’s Melbourne derby in Sydney.
The relocation means the competition can follow its planned fixture, with the least number of games being relocated from their scheduled venue. Melbourne’s John Cain Arena is not due to host a match again until Round 10.
It also means games can be played interstate without players, coaches and officials having to quarantine or self-isolate.
The league is committed to ensuring the Magpies and Vixens return to Victoria as soon as possible.
The relocation has made been made possible thanks to support from the Sunshine Coast Council, who has been a supporter of netball over the past five years.
Chief Commercial Officer and Acting Executive General Manager of Events David Lee thanked the clubs and the council for their ongoing support.
“Netball Australia and all Suncorp Super Netball clubs are incredibly grateful for the sacrifices the two Melbourne teams have made to ensure the 2021 season can continue,” Lee said.
“I’d also like to thank the Sunshine Coast Council who have made this relocation possible and continue to be big supporters of the competition.”
“We are working with the Council to find ways to provide additional benefits to assist the teams, including training facilities and access to locally trained professional personnel such as physiotherapists.”
Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the arrangement was a great outcome for the two teams and Sunshine Coast Council was delighted to continue its strong relationship with Netball Australia and Suncorp Super Netball.
“It will be a great opportunity for the players to really experience the world class training facilities, sensational natural assets and healthy lifestyle that our Sunshine Coast Lightning team appreciate already,” Cr O’Pray said.
“Hosting elite athletes in training and holding national level sporting events provides tremendous opportunity to showcase our region and confirms the Sunshine Coast’s reputation as a sporting event and tourism destination.”