A young girl collapsed during a press conference with Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, who was in the middle of announcing a new $15 million sponsorship with Netball Australia.
During the press conference, Andrews announced that the state’s tourism body, Visit Victoria, had struck a four-year agreement with Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan, to keep them running until June 2027, according to the Australian outlet 7 News.
As the new partnership was being announced, a junior netball player collapsed, causing a loud thud to be heard.
Andrews turned around to find out what happened and everyone rushed over to assist the girl. A woman could be seen hugging the child who was visibly upset.
Andrews’ announcement came after mining magnate Gina Rinehart withdrew funding over a dispute with the Australian Diamonds.
“Victoria is our nation’s sporting capital and its best tourist destination — it’s only right we launch this new partnership to back elite netball in Australia and promote our state to the world,” Andrews said.
He added, “This partnership isn’t just about elite netballers — we’re proud to be supporting grassroots netball clubs and increasing women’s participation in sport in every corner of the state.”
Ryan was “delighted” with the new partnership, which she said, “will guarantee Victorians the opportunity to experience more netball across the next four and a half years.”
Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting withdrew their sponsorship from the team earlier this month after players voiced concerns over past remarks made by her father, Lang Hancock, who founded Hancock Prospecting.
The Daily Mail reported that, in 1984, Lang had suggested that indigenous Australians should be sterilized so they could “breed out.”
When the controversy drew attention from the media, many called on Rinehart to apologize on behalf of her father.
Ultimately, she decided to pull their sponsorship, saying that they no longer “wish to add to Netball’s disunity problems,” according to 7 News.
“Roy Hill, majority-owned by Hancock, will also be discontinuing its sponsorship arrangement with Netball WA (a member organization of Netball Australia) to be the principal partner of the West Coast Fever,” the company said at the time.
“Hancock and Roy Hill have advised Netball Australia and Netball WA respectively, that it will instead provide a four-month sponsorship should they and their players wish to accept it, to continue funding the athletes and to help netball as it arranges alternative funding and sponsorships.”
Diamonds Captain Liz Watson praised the new partnership and believes it will “benefit all levels of our game.”
The Diamonds beat England 56-48 on Sunday and are now looking toward the 2023 World Cup in South Africa, the Daily Mail reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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