Love for the game driving Ivanhoe

Published on Thursday, July 15, 2021

Author : Josh Ward

Ivanhoe has enjoyed great success since joining the NFNL in 2016, and the club is hopefully it can continue achieving its goals on the netball court this season.

The club is fielding three teams during the 2021 winter netball season, with the teams competing in Sections 2, 3 and 4.

All three teams have enjoyed strong starts to their campaign to sit inside the top-two places on the ladder in their respective divisions.

Ivanhoe 1 now sit atop the Section 2 table following a 13-goal win over Montmorency 1 last week. The team holds a 6-3 record and is equal on points with four other teams in a remarkably even competition.

The club’s second team snuck home by five goals against Heidelberg 2 last week, with the result keeping them in second place – two games behind top of the table Whittlesea 1.

Ivanhoe 3 has had a terrific season in only their second-ever season and are currently unbeaten (9-0) in Section 4 after defeating finals contender Heidelberg West 1.

Speaking to, Ivanhoe president Dina Biviano says the 2021 campaign has been an exciting one for her club.

“I think it was quite difficult coming back from a year off due to COVID,” Biviano said.

“But the players came back quite excited to get back on court. It’s going well and we’re hoping it continues for the rest of the season.”

Ivanhoe has enjoyed a success start to its journey in the NFNL, with their ones winning the premiership in their first season and playing in a grand final every year since.

Biviano stated that one of the major keys to club’s success has been the girls’ love of netball.

“You’re not going to be successful in anything if you don’t love it,” Biviano said.

“It starts from our juniors and right through to our NFNL teams, we adopt the same approach for our club and make sure it’s all fun.”

Director of Coaching Julie Hibberd echoed a similar sentiment.

“It’s about making sure they (the players) love netball,” Hibberd said.

Hibberd said one of the highlights of the 2021 campaign has been watching Ivanhoe 3 perform consistently each Friday.

“They’re an amazing group of girls that are so eager to learn, so eager to put it out on the court,” Hibberd said.

“They’re just so keen to be the best that they can be. I think it’s starting to show.”

There have been plenty of standout players for the club this season, including Hayley Howard, who has 233 goals in nine games for Ivanhoe 1.

“This year she’s come not just tall but with a huge amount of strength in her body and a huge amount of maturity,” Hibberd said.

“She’s played with me for a few years now and she’s definitely having her best year.

“There’s so many of them that have really stepped up to the plate and they’ve all risen to the occasion.”

Hibberd added to keep an eye on the likes of Leona Hristovska and Demi Carr.

“Leona Hristovska, she’s stepped up. She’s become a classy player, quick with her hands, quick with her mind. Her timing is pretty good,” Hibberd said.

“Demi Carr, she’s really come to her game this year. She’s very much in control of how she’s playing, how she’s releasing the ball.

“She’s got a really good control game and she’s extremely fast.”

Biviano said the club was indebted to the work Hibberd had put into developing the playing group.

“She’s the one that is our absolute superstar,” Biviano said.

“Her coaching is incredible. She knows how to get the best out of every single player individually and collectively as a team.”

It is Biviano’s first year as president, having previously served as a committee member and vice-president.

And whilst it has been an enjoyable experience, she’s also thankful for the work of the committee.

“The whole committee is also working full time parents,” she said.

“We’re just trying to do our best and for myself I’m hugely thankful to our new committee.”

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