Nelson Bay Netball Association supremo Rebecca Keating honoured with Life Membership

Newly-inducted Nelson Bay Netball life member Rebecca Keating (left) with former Australian netball defender and Newcastle native Sam Poolman.

GIVING back to her favourite sport has made Nelson Bay Netball Association (NBNA) stalwart Rebecca Keating a contented official.

The tireless President has devoted years of sterling service to her beloved NBNA and recently was recognised as one of three Life Membership recipients.

Since joining the Association back in 2010 the netball head honcho has proved a dynamo on and off court and has cherished the moments.

“Netball has given me so much that I’ve always wanted to give back,” an appreciative Rebecca told News Of The Area.

“I’ve met so many of my best friends through the game, learnt so much and have grown as a person through my netball experiences,” she reflected.

Her fellow Life Membership inductees Sue Holloway and Amanda Wilks have had a major influence on Keating’s standing as one of the finest sporting administrators in the Port Stephens region.

A talented defensive player in her youth, Rebecca represented the Manning Valley, Great Lakes, Hastings and Wyong Netball Associations and was Best on Ground and Players’ Player in a 2000 Grand Final triumph.

Her daughter Jae started netball at Wyong at the age of seven before the pair moved to Townsville and joined the Phoenix club where they both savoured premiership titles.

Rebecca experienced her first taste of committee life at the Phoenix in the roles of Registrar and Vice President and also as a Townsville representative coach.

Thirteen years ago her journey continued when she turned up to the Tomaree Sporting Complex netball courts to register herself and daughter Jae.

“I tried to stay under the radar but life member Judy Calder quickly figured I knew netball and asked me to take over coaching my daughter’s team,” she recalled.

Rebecca joined the Salamander Shores team and made the finals that year and played a couple more seasons before a job change prompted her to play in the Newcastle competition.

After two years she returned to play in the Bay and has made a huge contribution since.

Rebecca vividly recalls her early connections with fellow life members Holloway and Wilks.

“The Association was looking for rep coaches so I put in an application and was successful,” she revealed.

“Amanda was already a rep coach and Sue the Rep Convenor who was ready to step down after more than 20 years service.

“She entrusted Amanda and I with the program – so we both joined the committee,” Rebecca exclaimed.

“From there I have learned so much from the women that came before me,” she added.

The industrious Keating has served the NBNA committee with distinction – from Rep Convenor, Coaches Convenor, Property Officer, Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer, Vice President through to her current role as Association President.

Rebecca described the committee as “an amazing group that is going to do more great things”.

“We have a bucket list for our community that we are ticking off,” she quipped.

“I have so much gratitude for Amanda, there is no chance I could have done any of this without her while Linda Jones is the absolute backbone of NBNA keeping us on track and informed,” said the decorated official.

Rebecca also praised the efforts of the hard-working Calida Hawkins and Fiona McGrath and Taylar Wilks “who picks up the pieces when things don’t go to plan”.

The respected Keating says to be awarded life membership “is an absolute honour”.

“I stand with ladies that have given so much to our community for the love of netball,” she declared.

By Chris KARAS

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