On advice of Netball Australia and Suncorp Super Netball, Sunshine Coast Lightning has last night relocated to Melbourne to safeguard the continuation of the 2021 season.
Five non-Victorian SSN clubs have moved to the southern state on the league’s direction, after COVID-19 outbreaks across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia threatened the competition in its original home and away format for Round 9.
Having teams centrally located can ensure this weekend’s matches can go ahead, with information surrounding the remaining 5 rounds and finals to be determined in the coming days and weeks.
Netball Australia has advised that while the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Collingwood Magpies match will go ahead in Adelaide, details of the 3 other SSN matches will be confirmed shortly.
Lightning CEO Danielle Smith acknowledged that the decision, whilst difficult, was vital and committed to supporting the Club and its athletes through this time.
“Over the past 12 months we have welcomed opposition teams with open arms to the Sunshine Coast,” Smith said.
“Throughout all of this, we have been eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by each team, each club member and netball fan.
“Now it is our turn to go above and beyond for the sport we love so much, to ensure the safe delivery of Suncorp Super Netball.
“These decisions are not made lightly. As a Club, we trust in the extensive work behind the scenes and contingency planning from Netball Australia that has informed these choices.”
Lightning will continue to work closely with NA and the SSN to ensure the health and safety of athletes, staff and the wider community going forward.
The Club was originally scheduled to play Melbourne Vixens at USC Stadium on Sunday.
Lightning currently sit at the top of the SSN ladder after 8 rounds and will be eager to continue to build on form heading into a possible 5th consecutive finals appearance.
Further information surrounding the SSN relocation and subsequent fixturing will be released by the league in due course.
We are committed to keeping our Members and fans informed as the season progresses via our digital channels.