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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Willunga Netball Club

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Sporting
Also known as: Willunga Basketball Club
Street name: Aldinga
Street suffix: Rd
Town or locality: Willunga
Date established: 1934

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Although it is known that the Willunga Netball Club, then known as the Willunga Basketball Club, was formed in 1934, there could have been a club in Willunga during the 1920s. Records from newspaper clippings show that the first State A1 Premiers were the YMCA in 1922, four years before the first recorded interstate match and six years before the first official All Australia Carnival. Although a Willunga Basketball Club is not mentioned, school basketball was played in Willunga in 1925 and 1927:

McLAREN VALE August 9 — On Saturday afternoon, August 6, in the McLaren Vale public school ground, a triangular basketball match was played between teams of girls from McLaren Flat,. Willunga, and McLaren Vale., The latter was beaten by each of the two former and Willunga was beaten by McLaren Flat. The visiting teams were .entertained at afternoon tea provided by the local girls. The names of the players were: Willunga - Pauline. Aubrey (captain), Hazel Culley, Raye, Foreman, Marjory Aldam Patty Aldam, Mona Delaney, Rita Brown. McLaren Eat — Jean Little (captain): Winnie Truscott, Edna Chapman, Veronica Harris, Freda Osborne, Irene Stephens, Hazel Truscott. McLaren Vale - Daphne Hunt (captain), Mavis Nielsen, Dorothy Reeves, Vera Klingner, Olive Morgan, Mary Chapman, Melva Gates. The umpires were Misses Skewes, Parker, and. Jeffs. (Chronicle Saturday 20 August 1927 pp 16-18)

The formation of the Willunga Basketball Club was probably associated with standardisation of the game (and possibly the creation of local Associations like the Southern Basketball Association) after the establishment of the All-Australia Women’s Basketball Association (AAWBBA) in 1927. The South Australia’s Women’s Basketball Association (SAWBA) was formed in 1928.

There was strong development of Basketball in SA during the 1930s - a team existed in McLaren Vale in 1931 and in 1933 a Willunga team is mentioned;

GEELONG GIRLS HERE FOR BASKETBALL About 23 girls from the East Geelong Congregational Band of Hope arrived in Adelaide today to play basketball against South Australian teams. Tomorrow afternoon matches will be played at Port Adelaide, and on Tuesday a visit will be made to play against Willunga. (News Friday 20 October 1933 p 5)

The first record of the Willunga Basketball Club is in 1934:

ALDINGA The Willunga Basketball Club was defeated by the local team by 7 goals. Afternoon tea was served. (The Advertiser Thursday 30 August 1934 p 13

The 1934 Willunga Basketball Team won the Premiership in the Southern Basketball Association. The team was Marj Fuller, Nancy Jackson, Beth Aldam, Paulie Vaudrey, Molly Jackson, Mona Delaney (vice captain) and Rae Foreman (captain).

The following extract from Jobling and Barham’s ‘Development of Netball and the All-Australia Women’s Basketball Association’ provides background to the establishment of the club:

Netball, in its many guises such as basketball, 7-a-side, and women’s basketball, became a popular team sport for girls and women during the period of its introduction in Australia in the late 1890s. Although reliable historical data about its development in each state over the first two decades is scarce, one may speculate from the fact the AAWBBA was formed in 1927 that there was a steady growth in the number of players in school, suburban, church and commercial teams.

Until the formation of the AAWBBA there were state and regional variations in the rules of play. Much of the confusion, especially in relation to the number of players in a team, stemmed from publications from the Ling Association in England which promulgated the flexibility of teams numbering 5, 7 or 9.

The annual interstate carnivals which followed the formation of the AWBBA did much to standardise and promote the game throughout Australia. New Zealand netballers played the 9-a-side game with different rules and it was not until 1938, when a team from across the Tasman visited Melbourne primarily to participate in the inter-state tournament, that Australia first played an ‘international’ match.

By the end of the 1930s sport was becoming a part of life for the average Australian woman; sport had become for many women a pleasant social occasion that was a diversion from home.


  • Olive DeCaux Collection 44-4 National Trust SA Willunga Branch
  • Jobling I & Barham P The Development of Netball and the All-Australia Women’s Basketball Association 1891-1939 The University of Queensland & Queensland Netball Association pp 45 & 46
Basketball in Willunga, 1926.
Basketball in Willunga, 1926.

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