Skip to main content
Start of main content.

Bond Cubs pave talent pathway

Bond 1
The Bond Cubs program has enjoyed a record-breaking turnout this year. (Image supplied)

A record-breaking crop of junior netballing talent signed on for Bond University’s Cubs development program this year. 

Phase 1 of the popular program saw 170 aspiring Bull Sharks aged 10-16 line up for five weeks of intense coaching across all facets of the game. Numbers were up from 120 last year. 

Selected players will move on to a second, more advanced program phase in August, culminating in a Carnival of Cubs tournament. 

Head of Netball at Bond University, Kim Boland, said the program, run mostly by Bull Sharks Sapphire and Ruby Series players, performed several functions. 

Visibility is an important one.

“It’s a big part of the reason we undertake the clinics at all the different associations’ home courts – Hinterland at Mudgeeraba, Northern at Runaway Bay, South Coast at Palm Beach, Southport-Carrara at Benowa, and Tweed in Tweed Heads.”

Boland says the response to the program speaks volumes about what had been missing on the Gold Coast. 

“Up until last year the Gold Coast lacked a proper netball pathway for younger players,” she says. 

“By introducing the Cubs program we have created something for young aspiring local players designed to help them understand how a Hart-level franchise works and what will be asked of them as they progress.”

Another aim is entrenching a sense of community-mindedness among Bond’s playing roster. 

“We want our players to know and understand the kids they represent and value the importance of contributing at community level. 

There’s also a significant opportunity to identify the best talent early.

“From a more selfish playing perspective, having a skilful and match-ready junior pool of talent across all five Gold Coast Associations means we have more and better players to choose from when the time comes.”

Star Bull Shark Kaylin Van Greunen was among the many Bond players lending a hand. 

“It’s an awesome thing to be involved in,” she said. 

Bond No 2
Bond Bull Sharks star Kaylin Van Greunen has enjoyed wearing the coach's hat. (Image supplied)

"I know I loved learning from the players I wanted to emulate when I was younger. It’s fantastic that I now get to return the favour.”

She says the lessons aren’t just a one-way street.

“You actually learn a lot,” she says. 

“You obviously get a better understanding of what coaches go through, but also pick up a few skills relevant to managing groups and communicating clearly with different personality types and players with different attributes. It helps you build your own confidence, too.”

Van Greunen, a first year Bachelor of Health Sciences student at Bond University, is currently balancing her studies with preparations for the National Netball Championships starting in just over two weeks where she’ll represent Queensland U19s.

Once Nationals are done and dusted, the 2024 Hart Sapphire Series season awaits. 

It’s a full book for the young goal shooter, but Van Greunen remains unperturbed by her loaded schedule. 

“Uni is going really well,” she says. “I’m enjoying the content of my course and the freedom of university life.

“The Bond Sport people do a fantastic job of helping me manage my training and university workloads.

“We’ve had a tough pre-season at Bond, but the whole squad has come together really well, and Queensland preparations have been really good too. All-in-all it’s a really exciting time for me.”


Bond No 3
The Cubs program is run mostly by Bond Sapphire and Ruby squad members. (Image supplied)

More from Bond

  • Bond breaking records in Olympic build up

    Fresh from sweeping the pool at the Aussie age titles our swimmers are gearing up for another lap at the Australia Open Championships this week.

    Read article
  • Bull Sharks return to The Canal for Rd 3 blockbuster

    Rugby Rd 3 preview: A Wallaroo returns as the coaches ring the changes for big challenges across the grades against competition heavyweights.

    Read article
  • New look Bull Sharks set for series opener

    Netball Rd 1 preview: How the Bull Sharks have prepared for netball's new Super Shot rule.

    Read article
  • Bull Sharks out for revenge in Grand Final rematch

    AFL Rd 3 preview: Shaun Hart has spent the summer plotting ways to address the Bull Sharks' weaknesses the Bombers exposed in the Grand Final.

    Read article
  • Gear change speeds up Colts' development

    A behind the scenes look at the Bull Sharks Colts program overseen by All Blacks legend Rico Gear.

    Read article
Previous Next