Harten was a part of the England team who became the 2018 Commonwealth Games champions (PA Images)
07 February 2020

England and New Giants netballer Jo Harten urges Netball Australia to consider a men's competition

England and New Giants captain Jo Harten has called for Netball Australia to seriously consider a men's competition in order to progress the 'historically female sport'.

Harten, 30, who signed for Giants in 2017 and has represented England 99 times, believes having a men's competition will only benefit the game. 

She said: "I know a lot of male netball players across the world, New Zealand, Australia and in England as well.

"I think there is room to grow in that area, it just needs to have a bit of a broader eye."

Meanwhile, Netball Australia, who signed a five-year broadcast deal with Nine Network and Telstra ahead of the Super Suncorp Netball season in 2017, now have just under a year to secure a new agreement. 

And Harten believes continuing to evolve the game is crucial in order to keep the sport attractive for broadcasters. 

She added: "Historically, it's been seen as just a female sport, which I think is probably an incorrect way of viewing it.

"Men come along to our games, they're playing mixed netball all over the world, so why not grow their game. Investing in the sport holistically will only benefit us in the long term.

"It needs to be pushed to a level where people expect it to be on TV and expect to see it in the press and that comes from having a really good base product."

In June last year, the New Zealand women's team competed against the men's side, something that was seen as significant to the men's game as they continue to push for recognition.

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