Madison Browne – Bright Like A Diamond

Sunday morning, Packer Park, Carnegie was the scene for Ormond Netball Club’s 2014 season presentation and AGM.

Having attended these events in various forms since 2001 in my capacities as Secretary, Treasurer, (very short-term) Coach, Association Delegate, Life Member and parent, I found my interest dwindling as my daughters’ involvement similarly declines as they pass through the junior ranks.

So much so that I did not even know that this year’s guest presenter was one of Australia’s premier netballers, Madison Browne, of Australian Diamonds and Melbourne Vixens fame.

We’ve previously had elite-level presenters such as Chelsey Nash/Tregear (and she was always very friendly and gracious too), but I paused to reflect upon how one of members of the Australian netball team was available to appear at a grass-roots club on a Sunday morning.

And she was great – Madi spoke warmly and engagingly about her early days in the sport (and other sports), how her interest in the skills of the game blossomed (including time spent in front of the TV, but still with a netball in her hand, practising her shooting action) until, in her words, netball chose her at the age of 17.

She was so down to earth (but I’m not sure whether I expected otherwise), making herself available for countless photos and conversations with the junior players and their parents, as well as shaking the hand of each young player as they received their memento of the 2013 season.

Sure, a twenty five year old All Australian AFL player may have shown similar qualities had he attended a junior presentation in the off-season, but I doubt that it would be able to happen in the first place.

I hope that one day soon, female sport reaches something close to the recognition that male sport gets in Australia (and the attendant rewards), but do so with the fear that this might make the close contact that we experienced with one of the best players in the nation, less and less likely in the future.

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good piece , Swish having had a bit to do with the netballesr thru doing joint coaching clinics can not speak highly enough of the ladies concerned . Sharni Layton came ito a clinic a couple of days after playing in a premiership last season , and all of the
    Thunderbirds are so accommodating of the kids there is a general concern for the well being of the game at a real grass roots level and a appreciation of people supporting there sport long may this attitude continue but I totally understand and support your last paragraph . Thanks Swish

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    She sure can play

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