PROUD AUSSIE: Former Olympic boxer Benny Pike and the Sunshine Coast Sports Federation will support the push to bring a netball side to the Sunshine Coast.
PROUD AUSSIE: Former Olympic boxer Benny Pike and the Sunshine Coast Sports Federation will support the push to bring a netball side to the Sunshine Coast. John McCutcheon

Controversial sports chief calls for ‘A-grade’ facility

NETBALL: A new entertainment centre on the Sunshine Coast is what Sports Federation chief Benny Pike says will help our region secure more teams in national competitions.

Pike today threw his and the Federation’s “100% support” behind the push to bring a national netball league side to the Coast.

An announcement on whether the Coast’s bid was successful could come as early as this week, with Netball Australia poised to officially announce the make-up of a new-look national netball competition in the coming days.

Pike said the Federation was committed to encouraging growth and participation for sports that will be included in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Australia’s Diamonds are defending Commonwealth champions.

“We fully support the bid, 100%,” Pike said.

But the former Olympian said the current bid highlighted why the Sunshine Coast needed an “A-grade” facility to home its top sporting teams.

“Even if it doesn’t happen (secure a netball side) the point is we need these facilities so we can have another go, at another time,” he said.

“If it doesn’t work out you don’t spit the dummy, you work out why and make it happen.”