Helen Surplice

Helen Plush started playing for Grange Uniting as a young girl back in the 1960s when it was called "The Grange Methodist 7-a-side Women's Basketball Club". This was even before the game was called netball!

When she was around 14 yrs old, Helen also started umpiring and, a couple of years later, she started coaching. By the time she was in her late teens, Helen was also the Club secretary.

Helen and continued playing and being a committee member until her late 20s, when her daughter Jasmine was born.

When Jasmine started playing in the mid-90’s, Helen renewed her relationship with the club, both as a coach, and as a committee member. When the A1 played finals in 1997 and 1998, Helen brought out her little U11 team to watch the team and cheer from the side lines – some of these girls, including Jasmine, are still playing for the club today!

Once Jasmine became part of the Senior A1 team who had another coach, Helen continued to give her time and expertise to the club by coaching girls in other teams.

When asked, Helen had this to say about her 50 year association with Grange Netball Club:

"I would like to sincerely thank you for bestowing life membership to me. It was both a wonderful surprise and honour. I was sorry that I was unable to attend the presentation night and express my thanks to everyone.

My association with the club goes back over 50 years when I first started playing and it has been an absolute joy to see the club grow to what it is now. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the club would have become what it is today. This would not have been achieved without the tireless work and dedication of the many volunteers and I take my hat off to you all. The fact that in this club, so many children, young people and adults can enjoy the game of netball, is just fantastic.

The sport of Netball and the Grange Uniting Netball Club have been very good to me. I have made many friends over the years and it’s interesting to note that I am still in close contact with many of the women I played netball with as a child and young adult. Yes some of those friends go back 50 years!

As I retired from work a few years ago and we have been travelling, my involvement with the club has been limited but I have enjoyed wandering down to the Grange courts and out to the city courts to watch the Grange teams when I’ve been around. What I love about this club is that it is all about participation and being able to involve as many kids as possible no matter what the skill level, to play and enjoy netball. Yes it’s great to have teams doing well in the top divisions of each age grade but I’m of the opinion it’s just as important or even more important to focus on the kids who may never make the top division. We want them to continue to play and enjoy netball for as long as they can. This was how it was for me and many of my Grange netball friends. We continued to enjoy the sport at various levels for many, many years.

Thank you once again and all the best for the future!"

It is people like Helen that have set the values of community, friendliness and inclusiveness that we are so proud of at Grange Netball Club.