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USC Thunder Netball pathway program looking for a local hero

An unexpected and significant event has befallen USC Thunder Netball with the late withdrawal of a major sponsor for the 2022 Season.

As a result USC Thunder has found themselves needing to put out a call to local business and community organisations to assist with the $35k shortfall.  Without an injection of funds this could seriously impact the continuing success of USC Thunder and the programs that support these athletes and pathways.

The timing of this has been more than unfortunate with the HART Sapphire and Ruby Series Netball League already commenced.

The USC Thunder Board has been doing everything possible to secure another major sponsor, unfortunately this has been in vain due to a variety of reasons. Covid has had a major impact on small businesses in Queensland, impacting sponsorship dollars available.

With the end of the financial year looming, USC Thunder are seeking a business out there on the Sunshine Coast (or Queensland-wide) that is looking to participate in a sponsorship deal in USC Thunder’s hour of need and become a real ‘local hero’.

USC Thunder participates in the HART Sapphire and Ruby Series Netball League Queensland’s premier state league, and selects two Nissan State Titles teams, 16U & 18U. 

In addition USC Thunder continues to play an important role in the pathways program for the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the Suncorp Super Netball, one of the most successful start-up sporting franchises in Australia.

USC Thunder has been a part of the HART Sapphire Series since it replaced the Queensland State Netball League in 2019.  The goal of the league is to elevate Queensland’s incredible netball talent to become the stars of tomorrow. 

USC Thunder is fortunate to have a wonderful support team, hard-working young future stars aspiring to be professional athletes and two highly skilled Coaches to assist them in achieving their dreams.

This year the highly accomplished, award winning coach, Jenny Brazel, former Firebirds Assistant coach and former Fiji National Head Coach – among many elite netball achievements – joined as Sapphire Head Coach.

“It was a real win to sign Jenny and testament to the standards of USC Thunder that she was excited to join the team” Tony Castro, Board Chair of Thunder Netball says. “Having a coach with such strong international credentials choose us as her preferred organisation ensures high quality talent and experience is available for our local players and member associations.”

Joining Jenny is Ruby Head Coach Kerrianne Farrelly, a 5 time Queensland U19 Assistant Coach, Queensland Country Head Coach and more… A coach with a wealth of experience who has been with USC Thunder since their inaugural year.

The dedicated athletes and coaches are backed by a supportive Board and many hardworking volunteers in a variety of roles, all year round.

Noted pathway successes include former and current players going on to participate in the top 3 elite worldwide National netball competitions in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Former alumni include Sarapheinna Woulf and Binnian Hunt (currently playing in the NZ ANZ Championship) and current Lightning players and training partners Maddie Hinchliffe, Annabelle Lawrie and Bridie Condren.

Considering USC Thunder only started in 2017, the success of these athletes already is a testament to the standard of excellence and culture at USC Thunder, which only improves each year.

“We want to keep Sunshine Coast talent in the area” Tony Castro, Board Chair of Thunder Netball says.  “We don’t want them leaving to Brisbane or interstate. To do that, it is imperative we can continue to fund and provide these programs for our region.”

“We are asking for our Sunshine Coast community to support us and our athletes to get through this year. Our athletes have worked incredibly hard and are making us proud every time they step onto the court.”  

Tony goes on to explain that investing in USC Thunder and women’s sport is a remarkable branding opportunity and “really is ‘bang for buck’ as the saying goes”. Research  in recent years bears this out illustrating an excellent return on investment. “The 2020s will be defined as the decade in which women’s sport blasted in the stratosphere

Partnerships with USC Thunder are tailored based on the partner’s desired engagement goals. Inclusions focusing on brand exposure, ticketing, digital & social media recognition, event activation, hospitality and networking opportunities, apparel branding, big screen and MC announcements or community initiatives can all be packaged based on relevant investment level. The current Sapphire series is also live-streamed across Australia on Kayo Freebies, Facebook and YouTube. 

If your business or organisation can assist, the USC Thunder Board is open to all options from multiple sponsors and are happy to discuss what could potentially suit your business or organisation. We can be contacted by email ( or phone 0416 121 978 and look forward to discussing options with you. 

USC Thunder understands many local businesses, organisations and individuals are not in the position to assist with large sponsorship packages so we will also be concurrently fundraising via The Australian Sports Foundation and any donation you can make will be tax-deductible and would be greatly appreciated to keep our athletes on the court where they belong.

We know the Sunshine Coast will rally behind us and our rising stars!