TAMWORTH has further cemented itself as a hub for men's netball with the launch of its new men's competition.
Playing on Thursday nights, more than 30 players have signed up to take part in the six-week long competition.
The competition's launch comes after the NSW under-20 men's netball team played an exhibition game in Tamworth earlier this year.
Netball coach turned men's player Robert Gregg said the competition's launch was a sign of the growth of men's netball in the region.
"From what I'm told, we are the first association outside of the metropolitan area to have launched something like this," Gregg told the Leader.
"The Tamworth Netball Association, especially Sue Lockwood and Mel Borg, have put in a lot of hard work to make this competition a reality and promote the game in the region.
"To see it get off the ground is really exciting and everyone had a lot of fun on the opening night of competition."
The competition features players of all ages, with schools such as Peel High School, McCarthy Catholic College and Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School all represented.
"There's a total of four teams, pretty much two of them are what you would call senior teams and the other two are made up from the schools," Gregg said.
"It's been good to be able to blend some of the more experienced guys in with some of the newer guys."
Gregg said new players were "more than welcome".
"The competition is a good launch pad to get into netball, so it would be great to see more guys get involved," he said.
"We are playing it as more of a social competition than anything else, so it is a good way to get your first taste of it."
Gregg said he was hopeful the competition would continue to grow in the summer months.
"I think there is certainly scope for it to grow into the future," he said.
"The Tamworth Netball Association are really working hard to promote the men's game and grow it here in the region.
"In the warmer months there will hopefully be a bit of a boom in participation numbers due to the second round of the Active Kids voucher and the conclusion of winter sports.
"Hopefully, all of those factors lead to a continued growth for men's netball."
Anyone interested in playing in the men's competition is urged to contact the Tamworth Netball Association.