Tribute to Betty Spillane, a one-of-a-kind

Submitted by ashbury on 26 February 2023 - 3:32pm

PhotoThe sadness and grief felt by Betty’s many friends, players (past and present) and officials of the Ashbury Netball community and the wider Inner West community cannot be expressed in words.  Her accomplishments and achievements speak for themselves; but how do you describe an icon, a woman of great strength and vision – a one-of-a-kind.

As I put my memories together (listening to my washing machine run through a load of training bibs after grading; and she wasn’t there), I reflect on not so much Betty’s accomplishments, as highlighted by the Inner West Netball Association, but on Betty as a person, her love of her family, watching tennis (especially Roger Federer, a love she shared with my Mum) and her desire to be involved in anything ‘netball’.  Her call to be of help – ‘I can do that, you don’t have time to do that' was her catch-phrase.  Most Saturdays, she would ask for any tags we had to be dropped to her so that she could wash and iron them ready for the following week; pre-season training when she would call and pick up training bags to take to the training ground; source and buy brooms and squeegees to sweep the training courts and making sure that coaches and players were prepared and had everything they needed.  She had a comprehensive library of netball books, training manuals, umpiring rule-books (and a bag of whistles that went through the dishwasher every week) plus other resources which she shared with everyone.

Betty Spillane has been involved in all things ‘NETBALL’ for over 50 years.  Netball and St Francis Xavier's and Ashbury Netball Club were her second family. 

At Club level Betty was a player for St Francis Xavier’s Netball Club from 1972-1979 (and she would tell you she was accident-prone), she attained her AANA C Badge in 1979, was a Level One Coach from 1983, Treasurer from 1999-2009 and Club Coaching Convenor from 2010-2014.  She was the unofficial fund raiser when it was time for our annual Trivia Nights and BBQs.  She would approach all the local shops in Croydon Park, Croydon and Burwood for donations - very successfully I might add!  She was a regular at the City2Surf Fun Run drink station for 12 years from 2002 (rain or shine).  She ran 250 Clubs (lucky numbers) in some of our lean years to help raise funds for end of year trophies.

Betty coached junior and senior Ashbury teams for more than 40+ years at a minimum of 3-4 teams (and up to 7 one year) during each winter competition.  Her determination and knowledge of the game has made her one of our most successful coaches.  In the last few years when not coaching as much, she would be at the grounds and walk from one end to the other (many, many times up and down during the day), she never seemed to tire, checking our teams, making sure all was well.  She knew most players by name and they knew her.

Betty was much loved by all the players she coached, a number of whom took up the coaching mantle.  She forged long-standing friendships with many players, parents and officials.  She was always available to guide and mentor players, coaches and umpires, her tireless work ethic and dedication to the development, growth and success of our Club and its members is her legacy to us.

'She devoted half her life to Ashbury and I know that she has touched the lives of so many Ashbury netballers across the decades………but I know that the work she did with so many young people will live on in them' (Donna Spillane, Ashbury 50th Anniversary, August 2022).

She was the inaugural winner of the ANC Commemorative Trophy in 1982, the Paula Boland Trophy in 1999.  She was recognised for her contribution to IWNA with the Betty Spillane Trophy (Best Defence Team - Betty loved defences), won by Ashbury Smilers in 1998, Ashbury Saints in 2006 and Ashbury Emeralds in 2018 and was the recipient of the IWSNA Service Award in 2005.

Betty encouraged her four daughters to play netball as well as watching her grand-daughters become involved with the sport.  

2023 will be a year without Betty Spillane, a different year, but it will be a year to celebrate when we endeavour to win the March Past Trophy (all those sessions when she organised marching practice, left, left, left, right left), we did win in 1984 and 1997; and as many premierships as we can in her memory!  Betty loved grand final days, no matter how many teams we had participating.  I know she will be watching!

We extend our heartfelt condolences to her husband of 65 years Don and daughters Donna, Frances, Vicki, Peta and their families.  Betty was a much loved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.  All of Ashbury mourn with you in your loss. 

We thank you for sharing this one-of-a-kind woman with us, her legacy will live on with our players, coaches, umpires and officials.

Thank you Betty for all you contributed to netball and Ashbury Netball Club over many, many years.  As volunteers, all we do is for the love of the game and you loved it more than most. 

We will forever be Ashbury Netball Club and always in Green and White.  Ashbury means community, family, friendship and contribution, these cornerstones epitomised by Betty Spillane.

Rest now and keep an eye on us from time to time and keep us on the right path and we will try very hard to win the March Past Trophy for you!


Celebration of Life for Betty Spillane

A Requiem Mass will be held at St Vincent’s Catholic Church, Bland Street, Ashfield on Friday 3 March at 10.30am.  Following Mass, the cortege will proceed to Rookwood Catholic Cemetery where Betty will be laid to rest.


Submitted by ashbury on 24 February 2023 - 9:33pm


It is with profound sadness that Ashbury Netball Club advises of the passing of Mrs Betty Spillane (ANC Life Member 1999) after a short illness.

Mrs Spillane was known to many in the Ashbury netball community as an official, an umpire but primarily as a COACH (her first love).  She coached many teams as premiers or runners-up, both for St Francis Xaviers' Primary School from the early 1970s and with Ashbury up until her retirement in 2020.  For many years she coached multiple teams per season and held so many positions with Ashbury we've lost count. 

She was at the 2022 grand finals (in the rain) and was so proud of all our players, coaches and umpires on their success.  She will be missed by all of us.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to her husband Don and daughters Donna, Frances, Vicki, Peta and their families on their loss.

Further details will be advised when available.

Eternal life grant unto her O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her.  May she rest in peace.


Submitted by ashbury on 16 February 2023 - 12:00pm


Ashbury Netball Club has teams in a variety of grades in juniors through to seniors as well as running a Mini Magpies (5-7 years) Program.  All players are welcome and we encourage boys to join our Mini Magpies Program and Junior teams, as boys are able to play up to the age of 12 years in their own age group.  Due to the success of the Mixed Summer Competition, IWNA have opened registrations for Mixed and Men’s teams and the following new divisions:

  • Women's Over 45's
  • Men's Open
  • Mixed Open
  • Mixed Cadets ( for 13-17yr Boys and 14-17yr Girls)

The viability of this competition will be dependent on registrations.  Games will be played on Saturday's from 4:30 - 5:30PM at Cintra Park.  

PLEASE NOTE - you can only register once and players interested in playing in two teams eg Senior Ladies and Mixed need to email with details.  If you have any questions regarding the above new divisions, please contact

Registrations will be online via the PlayHQ platform.  If you do not already have a PlayHQ account (from 2022), you will be asked to create an account:

  • Username = your email address
  • Password = set password as required
  • Payment of fees is required at time of registration (a requirement of PlayHQ)

When registering it is very important that you choose the correct Competition to register under, based on the age the participant will be as at 31 December 2023. You do not register according to the team/age group you may be playing. ANC allocates players to teams.

Please ensure you select 12 mths registration as this fee will also cover the 2023 Summer Competition component otherwise you will be paying more again if you wish to play in the Summer Competition.

EXAMPLE (Revised)

If a player is turning 9 this year she would need to register in the Woolworths NetSetGo Modified (8&9 years) Program.  However if a 9 year old player is registering for a 10 year old team, she must register in the Junior (10-15 years) Program.

Any 9 year old player who registers in the Junior (10-15 year) group WILL NOT receive a NSG pack and there is NO WAY to facilitate this at all.

If a player is turning 17 this year. If the team played in last year was a Senior team, and she will likely play in the same team, however when registering she will register as a CADET as that is the age group allocated for the player date of birth.

Please follow the appropriate link for your AGE (as at 31 December 2023):

NetSetGo Mini Magpies

This program is for children aged 5-7 years that participate in the skills program only.  Uniform not required. Players will receive a NetSetGo pack (via mail to the address entered when registering).

5-7 years $130 per player

NetSetGo Modified

This program is for children aged 8 & 9 years that participate in the Modified rules netball competition only.  Ashbury uniform required. Players will receive a NetSetGo pack (via mail to the address entered when registering).

8-9 years $190 per player
Junior 10-15 years $190 per player
Cadet 16 & 17 years $210 per player
Senior Including Mixed and Men's 18 years & over $250 per player

Official (Non-Player Coach, Manager, Umpire)

All Officials (non-playing Coaches, Managers and Umpires) must complete the online registration form and provide a Working With Children Check (WWC) details (18 years & over)

  $52 per person

Please note:

  • Any new player under 18 years of age must provide the Club with proof of age in the form of a copy of your birth certificate or passport (NO ORIGINALS ACCEPTED).
  • Training days are usually on Tuesday and Wednesday (dependent on availability of coaches).  WE WILL NOT KNOW THIS INFORMATION UNTIL AFTER REGISTRATIONS CLOSE AND GRADING IS COMPLETED.
  • Game times on Saturday are set by IWNA when they complete the fixture and will not be known until the end of March.

Active Kids Voucher

If you wish to claim your $100 Active Kids voucher (eligible school enrolled child), please DO NOT COMPLETE this online registration form UNTIL you have your Active Kids Voucher ID Number (through Service NSW).  To redeem the voucher, the voucher ID number must be entered at the time of registration and checkout/payment.  It cannot be used once registration is complete.


  1. Active Kids Voucher – have the Active Kids Voucher ID Number PRIOR to commencing the PlayHQ registration process.*
  2. Creating Account – please ensure that you double-check all your details have been entered correctly, especially fields such as date of birth, as we are unable to amend if incorrectly entered.
  3. Payment – have your Debit or Credit Card on hand to make the payment.

*The Active Kids Voucher ID Number MUST be applied at time of registration. It cannot be used once registration is submitted.


IWNA Calendar 

Registrations Open Wednesday 4 January 2023
Registrations Close Wednesday 15 February 2023
Grading Day Saturday 25 February 2023
Uniform Day Saturday 4 March 2023
Training Commences Week commencing 20 March 2023
IWNA Start of Competition Saturday 22 April 2023


2023 Committee

Submitted by ashbury on 12 January 2023 - 9:44pm

The 2023 Committee is listed here.


Submitted by ashbury on 1 January 2023 - 9:00am

All players are reminded that they must wear our registered uniform either:

  • Green dress, black sports briefs, Ashbury Socks (optional) or predominately white socks, OR
  • Ashbury shorts and singlet, sports briefs, Ashbury Socks (optional) or predominately white socks. 

If you have long hair, it must be tied back off your face.  Nails must be cut short and filed, no jewellery (rings, ear-rings, nose-rings or any piercings, bracelets) to be worn and should be left at home so that it doesn't get lost.   See below for further information on jewellery.


5.1.1  Players may not wear anything that could endanger themselves or other players, specifically:

(a) No adornment or jewellery may be worn other than a wedding ring which must be covered with tape

(b) A medical alert bracelet may be worn provided it is covered with tape

We are seeing more instances of players with ear-rings and nose-rings taped, which is a breach of the rules. Players are saying they are unable to remove certain types of ear-rings or have just had their ears pierced.

All umpires are reminded that they need to check all players prior to the start of the game to ensure that players are not wearing any jewellery.

ALL players and coaches need to be aware of this rule and that the only exceptions are a wedding ring and medi-alert bracelet.

Any player caught playing with jewellery will be asked to leave the court until such time as the item is removed,

Wet Weather Contacts

Submitted by ashbury on 1 January 2023 - 9:00am

In the case of wet weather during the season, a decision is usually made on the morning of the game, although in some instances the grass courts may be closed the night before by Council.  Team Coaches will be advised about wet weather decisions and messages will be posted on our website and Facebook page.


Submitted by ashbury on 1 January 2023 - 12:01am

Please click here for the current court plan.  Teams are asked to check the fixture at the Admin Building each week for court changes.

Congratulations Catherine (Ketty) Sita

Submitted by ashbury on 26 November 2022 - 10:36am

Congratulations Ketty Sita who was awarded the 2022 Magpie Volunteer Service Award at the IWNA Annual General Meeting on 26 November 2022.  On behalf of all the members of ANC we congratulate Ketty on this award in recognition of her services to netball, including coaching and as an ANC Committee member.

Presentation Night

Submitted by ashbury on 22 October 2022 - 10:16am

 Thank you players, parents and supporters who attended our Presentation Night on Friday 21 October 2022 as Ashbury Proudly Celebrated 50 Years of Netball.  We hope you had a great time.  Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2023.

Congratulations to our new Life Members:

Tara Berg
Rita Lombardo
Rachel Merrick (nee Pound)
Catherine (Ketty) Sita

Congratulations - Merrill Sells

Submitted by ashbury on 28 November 2021 - 7:53pm

Congratulations Merrill Sells on being awarded the IWSNA Magpie Service Award at yesterday's IWSNA AGM.  On behalf of all the members of ANC we congratulate Merrill on this award in recognition of her services to netball, including coaching and her role as ANC Uniform Coordinator.