The Marie Little Shield will be held in Brisbane at the Queensland State Netball Centre from 12 – 14 October.
The three-day competition gives women with an intellectual disability the chance to compete and represent their state or territory at a national level.
For the first time, the Shield is being included as part of the INAS Global Games, the world’s largest sporting event for elite athletes with intellectual impairment, which is being held in Brisbane from 12 – 19 October.
Named in honour of inclusion pioneer Marie Little OAM and introduced in 2013, the Shield recognises Little’s dedication to improving the lives of people with an intellectual disability through the power of netball.
As a Netballer myself, and as the CEO of the INAS Global Games, I am delighted that the Marie Little Shield will be played at the start of the INAS Global Games here in Brisbane,” says Robyn Smith.
“Netball is a quintessential Australian sport and this Shield showcases that true spirit of inclusiveness in sport that we value in this country.
“Netball was one of the first sports to establish national competitions for athletes with intellectual disability.
“It is also an opportunity for Netballers to share in the excitement of a hometown Global Games,” adds Smith.
Netball Australia CEO, Marne Fechner said Netball Australia is committed to providing players with disabilities the opportunities to play netball and is delighted to support programs and events that ensure netball is accessible to the entire community.
“The spirit of netball is captured in the Marie Little Shield as a celebration of inclusion, of community and our belief in providing pathways for everyone to achieve in netball,” she said.