As the world’s best netball players take to the court in Liverpool, all eyes will be on the glittering World Cup trophy.
The trophy was created by Birmingham craftsman Marcus Steel and unveiled to the world for the first time at the 1995 Netball World Cup. The introduction of the trophy to the tournament reflected a significant change to the position of netball within the global sporting arena. During 1995, the tournament progressed from a Championship to a World Cup, bringing netball in line with other international sporting events.
Carissa Tombs (nee Dalwood) played wing defence and centre for Australia’s Diamonds at the 1995 World Cup – her second of three World Cup appearances (1991, 1995 and 1999). In 2010 she was inducted into Netball Australia’s Hall of Fame and here she reflects on her experience of playing in Birmingham.
“The World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and it was an honour to represent Australia. I feel so fortunate to have been able to do it successfully for three World Tournaments”
"I remember our Australian team watching South Africa v New Zealand and no-one expected South Africa to come away with the win! The result changed the draw completely and sent everyone into a panic as it meant Australia would play New Zealand. Typically it was a tightly contested match between both our teams from the first to the last whistle – but thankfully it went in our favour.
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Winning is always a good feeling but to top it off by lifting the trophy and celebrate as a team is the next level – it’s raw emotion. We celebrated by going out with all the supporters that made the journey over to the UK to support us. I have been able to retire pretty happily achieving all of the goals I set myself early on in my career.”
Since its creation, the trophy has been proudly held aloft by five winning team Captains. As teams prepare to battle it out for the converted trophy in Liverpool, the question still remains, who will be next to claim netball’s ultimate prize?
Teams to have clinched the World Cup trophy so far:
1995 in Birmingham, England – won by Australia
1999 in Christchurch, New Zealand – won by Australia
2003 in Kingston, Jamaica– won by New Zealand
2007 in Auckland, New Zealand – won by Australia
2011 in Singapore – won by Australia
2015 in Sydney, Australia – won by Australia