Netball loses two of the best

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Netball Victoria mourns the loss of two long standing members of the netball family, with the passing of Judy Hudson and Gayle Welch.

Judy Hudson’s love of netball spanned many years across many areas of the sport. Early on she enjoyed playing the game, firstly at Mac Robertson’s Girls School, later in Saturday and representative competitions, and mid- week ladies competitions before becoming a manager and administrator.

Judy was involved with the Waverley City Netball Association and was a founding member of the Knox Region Netball Club who play at the Waverley Netball Centre.

Judy was secretary of the Melbourne Waverley State League Club for many years and appointed a Victorian state team manager on several occasions. When Netball Victoria appointed Zone Managers, Judy was appointed as the Central East Zone Manager, a role she held for several years organising all things pertaining to the zone, umpire and coaching courses, representative team selections and appointments.

When the Commonwealth Trophy Commenced in 1997 Judy was part of the original Melbourne Phoenix committee and was involved as one of the game day court supervisors, along with Lindy Murphy, Carmel Wright and Liz Upton. These four wonderful workers ran game day for the whole 10 years of the CBT competition, organising the volunteers and taking care of all match day arrangements.

During 2006 and 2007, Judy again worked for Netball Victoria as the administrator for both Phoenix and the Melbourne Kestrels. During the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Judy was the assistant technical supervisor, with Lindy Murphy they wrote the manual for the netball competition at the Commonwealth Games which was used again in Delhi in 2010. In 2008 when the new ANZ Championships commenced Judy stepped back from her netball involvement.

Although no longer directly involved, Judy never missed an opportunity to watch a Melbourne Vixens game or international series. She followed both teams closely. Judy Hudson died on the 17th October 2013 after a two and a half year battle with breast cancer. She will not be forgotten.

Netball has lost another long standing, well respected and much loved member of our netball family after a hard battle with leukaemia, Gayle Welch passed away in late October.

Gayle had been actively involved with the Craigieburn Netball Association, which formally acknowledged her contribution by electing her as a Life Member of their Association. Gayle’s initial involvement with the then Royal Park Netball Association was as an umpire, and it was with Royal Park that she worked towards and earned her C-Badge.

A regular umpire on the Monday night outdoor competitions but in 1998, she would be appointed as an umpire supervisor to guide up and coming umpires in the same way that she was mentored. Many of our younger, current badged umpires would’ve had Gayle as their first supervisor.

Gayle was appointed as a supervisor for Saturday Juniors and for the Royal Park All-Abilities Athlete program. The name Gayle Welch is synonymise with our AAAs. She gave all who were interested an opportunity to play the game of netball and to enjoy it.