Commonwealth Bank sends netball team affected by Cyclone Larry to International Schoolgirl Challenge

16 May 2006

The Commonwealth Bank will support a troupe of young indigenous netballers from Far North Queensland affected by Cyclone Larry, agreeing to support the team - known as The Budgies – at this year’s International Schoolgirls Challenge in Adelaide.

Rhiannan Moyle, Shanice Tanner and Ella Ross will be assisted by the Bank with travel, accommodation and registration costs to the tournament which commences on 26th May.

It is the third time ‘The Budgies’ have been invited to the Schoolgirls Challenge.

The International Schoolgirls Challenge is organised by School Sport Australia. Other teams competing include Australia (mainstream), New Zealand, Singapore, Pasifika, South Africa and a Maori team.

According to Rhiannan Moyle, who lives in Innisfail with her family, financial assistance from a number of local businesses fell through following the impact of hurricane Larry.

"As a result of the cyclone, my father’s work will suffer as local farmers and businesses cut back services until things get back to normal, which affected our ability to participate in the tournament," said Rhiannan.

"The impact of the cyclone has been difficult for everyone locally and it has been disappointing to miss out on the regional schoolgirl trials following the cyclone, but the much needed support has been welcomed."

Rhiannan and her sister were identified by Netball Queensland at the state titles this year and are both avid athletes with Rhiannan attending state titles for athletics.

Shanice’s family has also been affected by Cyclone Larry, with her family dedicating financial support to her brother and sister-in-law following their loss as a result of Cyclone Larry.

"It has been a terrifying ordeal and many people have been quite traumatised by the Cyclone. It has been difficult for the local community."

Deb Palise is coaching the team which boasts 5 Queenslanders.

"This is a national team and the girls will be coming from NSW, SA, VIC, ACT, and WA. It is great to have such strong representation from North Queensland." "Each team member has been given an individual training program and prior to the tournament, we will spend a couple of days working together as a team."

The tournament is in its third year, with the Budgies looking to build on a disappointing result last year.

"This year we have the best available team and the funding of the girls has gone a long way to making this happen."

The Commonwealth Bank is a long-term supporter of Netball in Australia, sponsoring the Commonwealth Bank Trophy and the Netball Development Fund Commonwealth Bank Trophy and Netball Development Fund since 1997.

Through its sponsorship, the Bank is assisting in the development of netball from the grass roots all the way to the elite level.




For more information contact:

Steve Batten
Media and Issues Management
Commonwealth Bank

Phone: (02) 9378 2504
Mob: 0411 080 268