It seems the Solomon family are a one-in-all-in family, with coach and player Alana Solomon lining up on court alongside her mum, her sisters, first cousins and niece down at Lindenow South in the Omeo District Football Netball League (ODFNL).
With a very netball orientated family, Solomon shared that “my mum has had our family at the netball courts for as long as I can remember. We started with NetSetGO and we all haven’t looked back since.”
“I took up my first coaching role around three years ago, and I really enjoy it. The girls love having me as a coach, I don’t know why,” Solomon humbly said.
Solomon coaches both the A and B grade teams at Lindenow South, with her sister Jenaya coaching the juniors. Last weekend, Lindenow suffered a one-point loss to rivals Buchan Football Netball Club (BFNC) in the junior semi-final.
“It was unfortunate to not come away with the win, however it was a really good effort for the team and was great to see my niece play in this game,” Solomon said.
For Solomon’s B grade team, who she coaches and occasionally plays for, the finals series was a different story, with the team remaining undefeated for the season and the past two years.
Proving the family environment stems across all divisions, Solomon has the unique opportunity to coach her mum.
“My mum, Christine, who is 51 years old plays in this team and is the goaler and they came away with an 11-point win in the grand final,” Solomon said.
Solomon, who also coaches her younger sister Nikita in the A grade team, said that it had been “a tough season because four of our players fell pregnant, but recruiting has never been an issue as I always encourage my extended family to play.”
Despite the struggles during the season, Lindenow South’s A grade team came away with a convincing win over BFNC.
With the Victorian Government’s, ‘Deadly Gippsland’ program in place, healthy lifestyles are promoted through social media to help engage Koorie communities and keep them up to date with events and sporting competitions.
Lindenow South is closely linked with Deadly Gippsland to help reduce the barrier in relation to access of community and sporting based information. The Koorie girls still face issues with transport to and from the courts, however they make it work.
“Between us all we carpool a fair bit. Mum always told us that there aren’t any barriers, if you want to play there’s nothing stopping us from playing.”
With a passion for netball, Solomon and her family have found netball provides major health benefits both on and off the court.
“We love it, it’s not just the physical side of things that we get out of it, it helps us mentally, especially with my sisters and I. I really enjoy making new friends and going to new clubs and playing in different leagues such as the ODFNL.”
Solomon like many within the Koorie community, works full time outside of netball with kids at schools to help keep them engaged and involved within the community, however definitely sees herself continuing netball for years to come.
“My mum is still playing at 51, so I want to try and beat her. I did say to her after the game, ‘rightio you’ve won a premiership, you can retire now’ and she looked at me, laughed and said ‘fat chance’.”