Gina Rinehart sponsorship of Netball national team sparks anger from Sharni Norder

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Gina Rinehart sponsorship of Netball national team sparks anger from Sharni Norder

Australia's former captain Sharni Norder has criticised Netball Australia's decision to accept sponsorship for their Diamonds national team from minin

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Australia’s former captain Sharni Norder has criticised Netball Australia’s decision to accept sponsorship for their Diamonds national team from mining billionaire Gina Rinehart.

Norder (nee Layton), who played 46 times for Australia and skippered the team in 2017, called on the governing body to ‘do better’ despite their precarious financial position.

Earlier this year the sport’s cash crisis was revealed, with the Covid-19 pandemic contributing to losses of more than $7million over the past two years.

Norder, who switched to AFLW in 2018, is a Sports Environment Alliance ambassador and said netball shouldn’t associate itself with Rinehart, whom she called a ‘climate denier’.

Australia's former captain Sharni Norder has criticised Netball Australia's decision to accept sponsorship for their Diamonds national team from mining billionaire Gina Rinehart (pictured)

Australia's former captain Sharni Norder has criticised Netball Australia's decision to accept sponsorship for their Diamonds national team from mining billionaire Gina Rinehart (pictured)

Australia’s former captain Sharni Norder has criticised Netball Australia’s decision to accept sponsorship for their Diamonds national team from mining billionaire Gina Rinehart (pictured)

‘As a proud @SEA_theChange ambassador, it’s unacceptable to put our brand alongside an open climate denier,’ Norder tweeted on Thursday.

‘We have put too much into our sport to give social license to a company who’s (sic) profit-at-all-cost attitude puts our future in danger. Be better’.

Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, will support the Diamonds until the end of 2025, with the money to go­ towards the team’s high­ performance program.

It comes at a key time for the national team as they prepare for the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town and the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Norder (pictured) (nee Layton), who played 46 times for Australia and skippered the team in 2017, called on the governing body to 'do better' despite their precarious financial position

Norder (pictured) (nee Layton), who played 46 times for Australia and skippered the team in 2017, called on the governing body to 'do better' despite their precarious financial position

Norder (pictured) (nee Layton), who played 46 times for Australia and skippered the team in 2017, called on the governing body to ‘do better’ despite their precarious financial position

The athlete said Netball Australia shouldn't' associate with what she describes Rinehart as a 'climate denier'

The athlete said Netball Australia shouldn't' associate with what she describes Rinehart as a 'climate denier'

The athlete said Netball Australia shouldn’t’ associate with what she describes Rinehart as a ‘climate denier’

Netball Australia chief executive Kelly Ryan said the code was ‘incredibly grateful’ for Rinehart’s support.

‘This is a major investment for our sport and is a huge contribution towards the ongoing success of the Diamonds,’ Ryan said in a statement on Thursday.

‘We are incredibly grateful to this leading Australian private company, Hancock Prospecting, for its significant support and partnership.’

The Hancock Prospecting logo will feature on the Diamonds’ uniforms when they take on New Zealand in the Constellation Cup next month.

Australia’s richest person, Rinehart has also invested in the elite level of swimming, synchronised swimming, rowing and women’s volleyball together with making a multi-million dollar commitment to the AOC.

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