‘We’ll hopefully get out there with that dress on’: Diamonds captain backs Netball Australia’s deal with Hancock

Diamonds captain Liz Watson says she is hopeful the issues around Netball Australia’s (NA) sponsorship deal with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting will be sorted out soon and the team will wear the company’s logo on their playing kit.

Concerns were raised by some in the Australian national team set-up around a $15 million partnership between NA and Hancock over the mining giant’s spotty record on Indigenous and environmental issues.

It led to reports that the Diamonds boycotted wearing dresses with Hancock emblazoned on them in their Constellation Cup series against New Zealand, and criticism of a lack of transparency and communication from NA towards the playing group.

NA said there was no boycott of the playing kit as it decided “it was not in the best interests of the players, the sport or Hancock Prospecting to wear the dress at this time”, and doubled down on the partnership, saying NA and Hancock were working “to acknowledge and recognise the sensitivities” within the playing group.

“This is a strong partnership for the sport that underpins the Diamonds high performance program with 100% of these funds going towards athlete and coach salaries, the delivery of camps, and competition costs which will enable the Australian Diamonds to continue their considerable and significant legacy in sport,” NA’s statement read.

Diamonds captain Liz Watson backed the partnership when asked about it on ABC News Breakfast on Tuesday morning.

“We’re great supporters of Hancock, we want to make this partnership work with them … and I’m confident it is going to resolve really soon,” she said.

“The girls know this is a really big investment in our sport and it’s going to do amazing things for our high-performance program, so we appreciate that.

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