Laura Geitz
Laura Geitz

Sparks set to fly as the Firebirds face Thunderbirds

TO SAY we will be hungry for a win this Sunday at home, is a major understatement.

This will be a game to remember as the number one team-the Queensland Firebirds-take on the number two team on the ladder-the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Sparks will fly to quote our 2013 catchcry!

This past week, there has been some interesting discussion in the media about netball salaries, notably around the level of national representation, which for netball is the Diamonds.

The Qld Firebirds have four Diamond players in our ranks.

We play for Australia and our state because we love it and are proud to do so, but the demands on our time and physicality are high.

The hours that we train are professional hours, and our sponsors who come on board endorse and acknowledge this by backing us.

Of course any sportsperson, particularly professional athletes, would love to earn more and to be able to focus 100 per cent on the sport rather than juggle work as well, but in netball we are financially challenged by crowd sizes, financial support and sponsorship.

I recently heard the story of footballer, John Schultz, a "gentle giant" in the 1960s, who was a ruckman for Footscray.

On a weekend morning, before his match, he worked in his father's bottle shop in Mt Waverley, then at lunchtime, grabbed his boots, got in the car and went to play.

AFL legend, Leigh Matthews, has spoken of working on match days too when he was a young player.

There are hundreds of stories like that from the "old days", but these days the pre-match preparation and expectation is vastly different.

Our Diamond and Firebirds player, Chelsea Pitman, was quoted this week as saying "give us a $100 a game and we would still do it." We would.

Our sponsors and your attendance at our games help us to grow our sport, so that one day we can be in the same league as the Wallabies, the Davis Cup, Cricket Australia, the Socceroos and our AFL and NRL brothers.

Come and boost us up at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this Sunday from 12.10pm.

If you can't get there, follow us on Fox3 Live and SBS2 Live or on Twitter and Facebook. We'll feel you behind us.

Go Queenslander!

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