It was a double celebration for Hope Evans on Saturday.
The star goal shooter celebrated her 200th game for Romsey Netball Club and her 350th match overall, having also played 150 games for the Sunbury Lions Netball Club.
Evans said she had been thinking about the milestone in recent weeks.
“It is huge,” she said.
“It’s a long time playing netball and not something I had really thought about too much until recently.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to not have too many injuries.
“Netball is part of my life and I love it.”
Evans started her career with the Sunbury Lions when the club joined the Ballarat Football Netball League and needed to have netball teams.
Since then the only time she hasn’t played is when she had her three children.
Evans said she would be lost on Saturday’s without netball.
“Looking back at everything that has happened over the years, I’ve made a lot of grand finals and made a lot of good friends.
“I’ve always enjoyed the club atmosphere.
“I’m lucky that I’ve played my best netball since the kids have been born and they’ve been able to come every week and watch.
“My kids are involved in netball now.”
Evans thought until recently that she had only played 100 games at the Lions, not 150. A message to former teammate Lauren Gilcrist, who recently played her 350th game, found otherwise.
Starting as a 16-year-old, she quickly fell in love with the game.
“We won a grand final in that first year in 1997,” she said.
“We had the same team for the majority of the time. It was the same seven or eight girls for five or six years and there were a couple of grand final losses by the smallest of margins.”
Personally, Evans claimed a league best and fairest in her early 20s.
Evans moved to Romsey in 2008 and it was through a mum’s group she got asked to come and play with Romsey.
She joined the club in 2010 and hasn’t looked back. She’s just the second netballer to play 200 games at the club.
“It was the natural progression to get involved in the community and I’m glad we did.
“I’ll always be there and it’s a great club.”
Like at Sunbury, Evans played in a premiership in her first year at the Redbacks.
She said that and the 2013 premiership were two standout memories.
“That first year we had Mez Blair coach and Beck Locker [Anstey] at the club.
“The 2013 premiership stands out … We started the season slow.
“Danni Davidson had taken over as coach and we had a lot of young girls. We finished fifth and peaked at the right time.”
Evans’ shooting saw her claim a number of individual awards during her time at the Redbacks, both at club and league level.
She said the 2015 Riddell District Netball League Player of the Year award was really special.
The 38-year-old stepped back to B-grade last season. She said she has no plans on retiring in the near future.
The Redbacks B-grade side got a win on Saturday, beating Riddell 35-30.
Evans shot 24 goals.