By STEVE MENZIES
There will be a certain off-court focus for the KFC Alice Springs Netball Association this weekend.
This is despite the feature match of the day being a grand final replay between Rovers Complete Construction and Federal Club Eastside for the inaugural Mayoral Cup.
The association is celebrating 50 years of netball in Alice Springs.
In 1971 a group of women – Pat Gallagher, Jerry Baldock and Margaret Rudwick – formed a four-team competition.
In 1972 a B-Grade was added and the association has grown since with 13 grades competing now.
Gates to the Pat Gallagher Netball Cenetre will open at 5.30pm today for the 50th anniversary celebration with the formal proceedings beginning at 5.45pm.
These will include the unveiling of the brand new honour board at the northern end of the stadium.
There will be displays of netball over the years including the move to Ross Park in 1977 and the development of the facility to today.
There will be a variety of food stalls, kids activities and a bar operating.
The 50th celebration continues on Saturday with a full day of netball games beginning with the 8-and-under and 10-and-under grades from 9am.
A feature of the afternoon will be a demonstration game between the Thorny Devils, a team of all abilities players, and walking netballers.
Walking Netball is a program to keep people active when they would not be able to play a normal game for any of a variety of reasons.
The KFC A-Grade grand final replay will showcase the dominant teams in the competition through the past 15 years.
Both play hard, aggressive netball which is certain to entertain spectators.
There was only two goals between the two teams the previous time they met this season.
There are plenty of other interesting games through the day and all for no cost.
There is no admission charge to the Pat Gallagher Netball Centre for the Saturday games or the 50th anniversary celebration on Friday night.