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President Hein talks Volunteers


As President of the Darling Downs Netball Region I wish a warm welcome back to all our Associations and Clubs. The netball chatter has begun in my household already and it made me realise that 2020 is well and truly under way. Having caught up with our Head of Coaching and with our first committee meeting scheduled for 5th February, I believe it is timely to highlight a topic that I feel is fundamental to the success now and for the future of the Darling Downs Netball.


As we all know, Volunteers are such an integral part of all clubs and associations success  and I address this letter to all our parents who have netballers in their families and who have not taken time out to offer to “volunteer” for the greater good of Netball and their children.

Our community stretches all the way to Roma in the West, Stanthorpe in the South and Fassifern in the East. By my estimate we have close to 3000 netball players in our region.


This letter comes from all the volunteers that have and will help make your child's sport remain great in our region.


I ask just one thing of you this year, please do not just sit back and allow the workload of many be picked up by a few. Netball in the Darling Downs NEEDS YOU NOW.


I assume that you enjoy being part of a community, Association or Club, and that your child also enjoys the benefits. If all the people who volunteer within these communities were to walk away, the community would disintegrate, and your child would be left asking: who is going to coach me now? Who is going to organise our sport uniforms? Who is going to score the game? Who is going to run and organise our next Netball Carnival? Who is going to set up the gazebos and work at these sports days?


Indeed, WHO?


Dear parent, you will be left standing there with no answer to your child's questions.


So I ask you to think about what you would do, if that were to happen. If you think you might put your hand up to help out so the community doesn't fall apart, why don't you do that now? Why wait for that to happen? For someone to get so tired and disheartened by lack of help, they stop. Ask yourself if you can Offer to score at the game. Offer to cover the canteen or barbeque every now and then. Offer to help raise sponsorships, offer to help out at the inter district carnival. Even offer to set up a Gazebo so your child is not sitting in the sun.


I know we all have work, we are all busy and we can all make excuses. You have other kids to look after who might play others sports. Well, guess what? So do we. We work, we have other children and we have homes to run. Our to-do lists are also suffocating us.


But we are still here giving our time, investing in ours and your children.


I'm sure you care about your child's success, and you want them to have a positive experience of life both at school and in their extracurricular activities. But did you know that you can improve that experience for them and yourself, and you don't even have to do that much?


Here are a few of the benefits to getting involved with your child's Association or Club:


Benefits for kids


•   In team sport -like netball, they'll be more engaged and committed to the team if you're part of it.


•   Their feelings of safety and security will improve knowing that you are close by.


Benefits for parents

•   You'll be able to better engage with your child because you'll have a clearer understanding of what is happening in their life.


•   You'll be more confident in your parenting, because you'll know your child better.


•   You'll make your child proud - they love having you there.


•   You'll be showing others that you think their kid is worth it, not just yours.


•   You'll get to experience what true community is about - meeting new people and making new friends.


•   You'll also get to know your child's friends and other parents - invaluable once you hit the tougher older years.


•   You'll have more control over shaping your child's responses to set backs - modelling positive behaviour is the key.


There are so many benefits to being involved, and I'm just not sure why it's always the same people putting their hands up. Just because your partner volunteers or helps out doesn't mean that you shouldn't, and simply paying the fees isn't enough anymore. Being part of a community means everyone gets involved.


Sadly, 'volunteer fatigue' is a thing. If everyone decided to get involved and just do a little bit, there would be no such thing as volunteer fatigue.


To all volunteers, thank you from the bottom of my and every other volunteers heart for doing your bit.

To all the non-volunteers, can you do a little bit more? We are asking you to step up: step up for us and step up for your community, but mostly step up for your children. They are the ones that benefit most from your involvement.


Yours faithfully,



Hein Pretorius

Darling Downs Netball President & Parent & Volunteer.

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