Marina Go steps down as Netball Australia chair during sponsorship stoush
Just days after a stoush over the sponsorship of the Diamonds was revealed, Marina Go has stepped down as Netball Australia’s (NA) chair as part of a “planned transition”.
- Marina Go said she was leaving the role “as originally planned” due to the “time commitments of the role”
- Her departure comes during a stoush between players and administrators over sponsorship from Hancock Prospecting
- Go resigned as chair effective immediately, but will remain a director of the board
NA said director Wendy Archer would step into the role effective immediately, while praising Go for “a pivotal role in driving the commercial turnaround of the sport and its strategic development” since taking over in mid-2021.
Go will remain a director of the board and said it was “an honour and a privilege to serve this sport”.
“I am proud of the position Netball Australia is now in – we have made strong progress on the financial stability of the sport, have secured significant new commercial partners and are continuing to identify and build new opportunities to secure a strong future for the sport, our players and our fans,” she said in an NA statement.
Some of those commercial partnerships have created apparent tension between the playing group and administrators, most recently when it was decided the logo for mining giant Hancock Prospecting would be emblazoned on the playing kits of the national team.
Bianca Chatfield, a veteran of 59 Tests for the Diamonds, said that deal “just wasn’t communicated to the playing group”, resulting in the Diamonds wearing an older dress without any reference to Hancock on it for their first Constellation Cup games.
“The playing group just weren’t aware of it and all of a sudden they’re told that this logo goes on their dress,” she told ABC Summer Grandstand over the weekend.
“When people dig a little bit deeper and understand everyone’s values and what they believe in and what they’re committed to … there just needed to be some open dialogue around what it means to everybody and [questioning] is everybody OK with that.
“I don’t think we’re getting to the stage where you need players’ agreeance on everything, but you certainly need to keep players in the loop about what’s happening.
“For anyone who is concerned about the environment, there’s issues there, and that the players just wanted to be able to have some kind of understanding first and awareness before they were told that they had to wear that logo on their dress.”
The conflict was not mentioned in the statement from Go, who said she was stepping down from the job “in light of the time commitments of the role”.
“I have chosen to step aside as originally planned, however, I will continue to represent the sport as a director of the board and through that role will continue my support for CEO Kelly Ryan and her team,” Go said.
“I want to congratulate Wendy on her appointment. Wendy has netball in her veins and is the right person to lead the sport now.”