STILL GOT IT: Kathy Sandison has been playing netball for over 20 years and still loves the game as much as when she started.
STILL GOT IT: Kathy Sandison has been playing netball for over 20 years and still loves the game as much as when she started. Renee Albrecht

What makes this Gympie netball legend tick

NETBALL: Watching her daughter having so much fun playing netball prompted Kathy Sandison to take up the game herself.

"I started when my daughter was in year 5 or 6 because I didn't want her having so much fun without me," she said.

"My friend Lyn Bradley and I got together 24-years-ago and started up a master team, which took us to Alice Springs, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

 

Lyn Bradley and Kathy Sandison playing together for over 20 years.
Best friends Lyn Bradley and Kathy Sandison playing together for over 20 years. Renee Albrecht

"Bradley and I have won gold, silver and bronze and we were quite happy with that."

Over the years, Sandison has seen many changes with the Gympie netball competition.

"When they had indoor netball here, Gympie was top in the state. I was nowhere near that," she said.

"I didn't like indoor netball. If you fall over, you get carpet burns."

 

Lyn Bradley and Kathy Sandison playing together for over 20 years.
Lyn Bradley and Kathy Sandison playing together for over 20 years. Renee Albrecht

The stalwart of Gympie netball has seen many fine players but one of the best was Susan Pearce.

"She was a good player. Susan was at the top of her game and tried her hardest. She moved to Brisbane and had the opportunity to train for the Firebirds and just went from there," Sandison said.

"There are some that were good players but just never wanted to go that far. You have to be pretty dedicated to do these things and you have to be prepared to move if you want to be in one of those elite teams."

When asked if there is more that should be done for netball in Gympie, Sandison said "There is more we should do, it is funding more than anything.

 

Kathy Sandison playing Netball for over 20 years.
Kathy Sandison playing Netball for over 20 years. Renee Albrecht

"I have dropped right out of anything because I think the younger people, especially Colleen Miller (Gympie Netball and Districts president), have got it all in hand, so I just play and umpire.

"If we could have got somewhere bigger that would have put Gympie on the map. We could have held bigger carnivals and made more money but I doubt we ever will."

Despite the sport not growing on a larger scale, the future seems to be bright in Gympie.

"There is a big future because it is the biggest participation sport played in Australia. The following of supporters isn't so big but the participation is," she said.

 

Netball family Jasmine and jeanene Munn Kathy Sandison, Carol Flikweert and Caitlin Munn.
NETBALL FAMILY: Kathy Sandison (middle) with her two daughters Jeanene Munn (right) and Carol Flikweert (left) and her two granddaughters Jasmine Munn (far left) and Caitlin Munn (far right). Renee Albrecht

"It has a big future if you can push it."

With over 20 years playing under her belt, Sandison's best memory is playing with her girls.

"I played with all three of my daughters and we won A-grade a few years ago. We had a 15-year-old girl in the team and it was like having mother, daughter and granddaughter in the side," she said.

"It was the highlight of my netball career."

Like many netballers, Sandison had an injury but was fortunate she did not have to give up the game.

"I busted my knee once, but they heal. I was lucky that I have not had any bad memories," she said.

Gympie Netball competition is played on a Monday afternoon from 4pm at the Gympie netball courts.

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