Since its formation Illawarra Netball has established a tradition of outstanding service, not only to women and girls, but also to the region and the State. Illawarra has contributed players to NSW teams, thus affording opportunities for talented netballers to fulfil their potential.
The continued growth and development of the Illawarra Association is a fitting tribute to those who have strived continually to ensure that netball became a force in the community.
The Illawarra Women's Basketball Association was formed in 1942 with Sid Hayes as President and Norma Glover as Secretary.
Saturday Afternoon Basketball started around 1939. Norma’s co-workers in Sydney played Women’s Basketball and it gave her the idea to start a local competition. In 1942 there were 6 Senior teams. By the end of the decade there were 24 teams.
In 1951 teams from the Association participated in Jubilee of Federation Celebrations in Wollongong. Registration fees were introduced in 1954, 2 Shillings/ Player or 21 Shillings/Team. In 1956/57 2 teams were asked to Join the Men's Basketball Competition that was starting. Val Curran first became President in 1959 and the Association now boasted 63 teams.
1960 saw the introduction of a Juniors Competition which included 54 teams. Member fees were up to 10 Shillings/ Player plus 21 Shillings/ Team for forfeit fees in 1961, and New Rule Books could be purchased at Ern Webb’s Sports Store for 2 Shillings. There were 17 Umpires and 17 Sports grounds in use.
The Illawarra Women’s Basketball Association made history by winning all 3 divisions in the 1965 Country Week Series. In 1967 Fees were charged in dollars, $2 /Senior and $1/ Junior. All match results were phoned through to 2WL. By 1969, there were now 45 Junior and 148 Senior teams.
The 60s also saw the formation and inclusion of 3 Clubs Berkeley NC in 1964, Corrimal NC in 1966/67 and Dapto NC in 1969.
In 1970 grounds used for Netball had reduced to 3 with multiple Courts at each ground - Streets Park, Corrimal (9 Courts), Guest Park, Fairy Meadow (20 Courts) and Fred Finch Park, Berkeley (20 Courts). The Association started negotiation with WCC to build canteens at these grounds.
The Association name was changed to the Illawarra District Netball Association in 1971.
1971 also the Council approve the erection of a canteen at Guest Park and new courts at Fred Finch Park. The minimum number of teams required to form a Club was 10 and Clubs must register there colours with the Association. In 1975 3 training courts were approved for Kundle St, Dapto.The 70’s saw the addition of 5 new Clubs – Shellharbour NC 1973, Wests NC & Woonona NC 1974, Fairy Meadow NC 1975 and Northern Suburbs in 1977.
By the end of the 70s men could become badged umpires (something they’d been unable to do prior to 1979), there were 8 Affiliated Clubs and 2 Sports grounds with facilities. Participation had grown to 92 Junior, 45 Intermediate and 134 Senior teams.
In1980 125 teams entered the Night Summer Competition with all games played at Berkeley. On 17th March 1984 the Val Curran Centre was officially opened by the Hon. M. Cleary, Minister for Sport. In 1986 IMB and South Coast Floorings partnered with IDNA as Official Sponsors.
The Illawarra Sports Stadium was opened in 1992. The Stadium has become the home of Indoor Netball Competitions since 1993.
Val Curran was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) and an Australian Sports Medal from WCC in 2000. In the same year The Commonwealth Sports Encouragement Award was presented to Val Curran, Myra Bradley, Clare Lear, Joy Charles & Val Oliver.