Netball in Nelson was first delivered as women’s outdoor basketball, which was formed in 1933 and played on the courts at Nelson Girls College in gym slips and stockings.
In 1953 Nelson Outdoor Basketball Association moved to courts at Para Para Road. From there the game grew both in numbers and in quality. When playing numbers dictated the need to extend play to the carpark at the Trafalgar Centre, the realisation that netball needed to find a new and bigger home become apparent.
Internationally the game developed from a 9 aside game of outdoor basketball to a 7 aside game, and went on to change the name of the game from Outdoor Basketball to Netball. In 1970 Nelson Basketball Association changed it’s name to Nelson Netball Association.
With the drive and determination of many dedicated volunteers, and the support of both the Nelson City Council and the then Canterbury Savings Bank (latterly Trustbank), netball moved its operation to Saxton Field, where we were blessed with 13 netball courts and a luxurious pavilion (which was shared with soccer).
Saxton Field courts have been our home for the past 21 years. The desire to have an indoor facility and continue to provide for our growing numbers saw Nelson Netball become the impetus and driving force behind the building of the Saxton Stadium. Our organisation was well represented on the Saxton Field Stadium Society and are very proud to be able to say that we contributed both financially and in huge volunteer hours to see this fantastic facility come to fruition for the good of the Nelson/Tasman community and sport in general.
Currently Nelson Netball has approx 2500 current affiliated members. These members come from 27 registered clubs and schools, and 25 primary schools. This figure does not include the large numbers of non affiliated members who play social netball throughout the summer months in our Twilight Netball (Tuesday evenings) and Winter Social Leagues (Thursday evenings). In total, approximately 300 teams play netball over all competitions.