Suncorp Super Netball has an official start date for Season 2020, Saturday 1 August - and for us as a Club, this announcement brings with it a great deal of emotion.
I'm certain our Lightning Members and fans share in our excitement, with the knowledge that competitive netball is just months away.
We were confident we would get back out on court this year, so to now have a firm start date and preferred season format, it gives us a clear goal and timeline to work towards.
We are thrilled that the Super Netball League has committed to completing a full 60 match SSN season in 2020, as we continue to showcase our elite athletes in the world's premier netball league and Australia's number one female sports league.
There is still plenty of hard work required on and off court and we are dedicated to going above and beyond to ensure our athletes are best prepared to succeed in season 2020.
Our Coaches and High Performance staff have been planning for a range of different scenarios and this certainty around 1 August now allows them to map out this second wave of pre-season training.
Today's SNL announcement outlined a return to training framework for all Clubs to ensure competitive balance and we are working with the relevant government authorities to gain clearance to return to netball-specific training as a group, which is critical after the extended break.
Our sport would not be the same without the incredible support from our Members, fans and corporate partners.
We are hopeful that with the delayed start to the season that crowds will be reintroduced in some capacity, as restrictions continue to ease.
The electric energy that emanates from the stands at USC Stadium is special and we would love for our Members and fans to experience that again before season's end.
In the meantime, we will strive to keep supporters updated and will explore ways to amplify the netball experience regardless of whether it's from the stands or temporarily watching from afar.
This week we were reminded just how amazing our Members are, as we launched our Pledge Lightning campaign.
Thank you to those who have already pledged their membership for this year. Only with your help can we shore up the future of our Club, and there is still a way to go.
We urge our loyal Members to Pledge Lightning if you have the means to do so. For those seeking additional ways to contribute, we have also launched the Lightning Foundation which is accepting tax deductible donations through the Australian Sports Foundation.
As a Lightning family, we have been through many incredible moments together. We have witnessed two back-to-back Premierships and a third Grand Final appearance and many other milestones along the way.
Sport has the unique ability to excite, to break down barriers and to unite communities. Now is the time for the Sunshine Coast to embrace Lightning as its only national team, with a full season of elite sport ahead of us.
I have no doubt there is plenty more to look forward to in 2020 and we invite all of our amazing Members and fans, corporate partners and the wider Sunshine Coast community to join us in this next chapter.
CEO Sunshine Coast Lightning