I found this advert for the “Great Netball Shootout” in today’s edition of the mX newspaper, distributed for free to Melbourne commuters on their way home each evening.
It seems like a rather odd marketing campaign for Metro Trains Melbourne to be running: “Let netball put you on the right track for your career”.
The promotion is for the “Great Netball Shootout”, a netball goal shooting competition between 250 competitors, to be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. That’s the first bit that doesn’t make sense: the MCG is famous for cricket, Australian rules football, and the 1956 Olympic Games – but never netball!
It isn’t unheard of for big companies to be involved in community events, and in this case at least the prizes have something to do with Metro and the railways: an overseas trip to France to ride on the TGV, a trip to Hong Kong to see the MTR metro, and a trip to the Northern Territory to ride on The Ghan.
Things then take a turn for the weird, with the line:
Everyone who enters will also receive materials providing information about exciting career opportunities in Victoria’s rail industry.
It takes a visit to the website mentioned in the advert (http://www.greatnetballshootout.com.au/) for things to become clearer again, when the sponsors of the Great Netball Shootout are revealed.
Of the sponsors:
- UGL Rail is a major Australian corporation involved in the rail industry, and is a shareholder in Metro Trains Melbourne
- Alstom is a French corporation heavily involved in the worldwide rail industry, including the delivery of Melbourne current XTrapolis train fleet.
- Skilled Group is an Australian company provides labour hire services to industry and construction, including local railway projects.
- The Australasian Railway Association represents local railway operators and industry.
Unfortunately, none of this explains why someone came up with the idea of combining a railway careers promotion with a netball competition. It does not follow…
So who won?
The actual competition was held in May 2011, with the following article in Rail Express mentioning the results:
Throughout the final competition a combined total of 4,300 goals were shot to see a 12-year-old-boy take out first place, followed by 11-and 12-year-old girls in second and third place.
I’m guessing it will be another decade until we know if those three kids decide a rail career is for them.