Home Essential support West Coast Fever, Netball Australia, collateral damage, sartorial debacle, Hancock Prospecting, sponsor, withdrawn, $15m, Donnell Wallam, Gina Rinehart, Kelly Ryan

West Coast Fever, Netball Australia, collateral damage, sartorial debacle, Hancock Prospecting, sponsor, withdrawn, $15m, Donnell Wallam, Gina Rinehart, Kelly Ryan


West Coast fever has become ‘collateral damage’ in Hancock Prospecting’s $15million sponsorship debacle as a ‘disappointed’ Australian Netball was left reeling from Saturday’s announcement.

Hancock Prospecting, owned by Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, confirmed that he would not go ahead with their lucrative sponsorship for Australian netball and diamonds. The company also announced the withdrawal of Roy Hill’s support of Netball WA and its Super Netball team, the West Coast Fever.

Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan said she was “disappointed” the saga had come to this outcome.

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“We recognize the difficulties and the impact of recent discussions and are disappointed to see them withdraw the partnership,” she said.

“It is a loss for all of our sport, from grassroots football to the elite programme. Sadly, this is evident today with the decision to also withdraw financial support for Netball WA and West Coast Fever.

Ryan promised NA would continue to “work around the clock” to secure the future of the sport. She also pledged to “explore all available opportunities” in the wake of Hancock’s decision.

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The sponsorship had become a point of view between the players and NA after a lack of consultation prior to the announcement.

Indigenous player Donnell Wallam had raised concerns about wearing Hancock Prospecting on Australian dress due to historical comments made by the company’s late founder Lang Hancock in the 1980s.

Wallam, who is set to make her debut for Australia in next week’s series against England, had the backing of her Diamonds teammates.

Fever CEO Simone Hansen said her club were “bitterly disappointed” to lose their partnership with Roy Hill – who was the club’s main sponsor – following the issues at Netball Australia.


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“We are the only SSN club directly impacted by this decision. We are collateral damage to the national situation and we are frustrated that all netball stakeholders could not come to a united position and this was reflected in the media,” she said.

“We were committed to the partnership and disappointed external factors beyond our control led to the withdrawal of the partnership.

“Our players understand and recognize the value and necessity of trade finance.

“Each of our players have supported our partnership with Roy Hill and unfortunately they will be most affected by this decision.

“Western Australia’s club and netball have a long association with the mining sector and are extremely grateful for their continued support. The mining sector and its related activities are essential to the livelihoods of many Western Australians, including netball families.

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NA remains struggling financially, having lost more than $7 million in two seasons and trying to extend $4.2 on loans through 2025.

NA President Wendy Archer, who only took office this week after Marina Go left, said there were ‘regrets’ in the way the Hancock Prospecting ordeal went .

“We are grateful to Hancock Prospecting for continuing to support our sport through the recent turmoil and regret the impact this has had on the business,” Ms Archer said.

“This has been a difficult time for all parties involved and while all parties have made every effort to resolve issues relating to partnership sensitivities, unfortunately we have not been able to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome. ”

Hancock Prospecting has pledged to provide sponsorship support to NA for the next four months as it seeks to find a new partner, should “they and their players wish to accept it”.