Former Australia captain Sharni Norder has criticized Netball Australia’s decision to accept sponsorship for their national Diamonds team from mining billionaire Gina Rinehart.
Norder (née Layton), who played 46 times for Australia and skippered the team in 2017, called on the governing body to “do better” despite their precarious financial position.
Earlier this year, the sport’s money crisis was revealed, with the Covid-19 pandemic contributing to losses of more than $7 million over the past two years.
Norder, who switched to AFLW in 2018, is an ambassador for the Sports Environment Alliance and said netball should not associate with Rinehart, who she called a “climate denier.”
Former Australia captain Sharni Norder has criticized Netball Australia’s decision to accept sponsorship for their national Diamonds team from mining billionaire Gina Rinehart (pictured)
“As a proud @SEA_theChange ambassador, it is unacceptable to place our brand next to an open climate denier,” Norder tweeted Thursday.
“We’ve put too much into our sport to give a social license to a company that’s (sic) ‘profit-at-all-cost’ attitude is endangering our future. To be better’.
Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, will support the Diamonds through the end of 2025, with the funds to go into the team’s high performance program.
It comes at an important time for the national team as they prepare for the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town and the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Norder (pictured) (nee Layton), who played 46 times for Australia and skippered the team in 2017, called on the governing body to ‘do better’ despite their precarious financial position
The athlete said Netball Australia should not associate with what she describes Rinehart as a ‘climate denier’
Netball Australia chief executive Kelly Ryan said the code was “incredibly grateful” for Rinehart’s support.
“This is a major investment for our sport and a huge contribution to the continued success of the Diamonds,” Ryan said in a statement on Thursday.
“We are incredibly grateful to this leading Australian private company, Hancock Prospecting, for its significant support and partnership.”
The Hancock Prospecting logo will appear on the uniforms of the Diamonds when they take on New Zealand in the Constellation Cup next month.
Australia’s richest person, Rinehart has also invested in elite-level swimming, synchronized swimming, rowing and women’s volleyball, as well as making a multimillion-dollar commitment to the AOC.
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