Young netballer wins dress design competition

Chloe Turnbull shows off her design that won the West Coast Fever’s dress design competition.

Chloe Turnbull might be missing the thrill of playing netball during the Covid-19 crisis, but that hasn’t stopped her from keeping involved in the sport she loves.

The 13-year-old recently entered the West Coast Fever’s dress design competition and of the hundreds of entries, Chloe’s design was shortlisted, before being voted as the overall winner.

As reward for winning the competition, Chloe will have her design worn by the Fever in the Suncorp Super Netball League and will be gifted a replica dress of her own to wear. 

Chloe explained that it was self-isolation that initially made her enter the competition and that the reward of potentially seeing her dress on television was reason enough to focus on the design.

“I was motivated to enter the competition because I thought it would be a good isolation project for me to do,” Chloe said.

“I also enjoy watching netball and once I saw the prize of them wearing my dress design at a game, I thought that it would be pretty cool to see the players wearing the dress at a game, either watching it live or in this current situation on TV.”

Chloe definitely captured the attention of the judges and followers, playing on a strong Western Australian theme, including state emblems and colours in the final design.

“The inspiration behind the design was to do something different and that nobody would have thought of doing,” Chloe said.

“I chose to do the Black Swan and Kangaroo Paw on the back of the dress, because it is West Australia’s flora and fauna emblems and it represents where the team are from.

“I also chose the flowers and palm tree leaves on the front because it added different colours to the dress.”

The process of designing the dress wasn’t as easy as it may sound, with Chloe spending days designing each part of the dress and putting some real thought into how each section would appear.

“The dress design took me a couple of days, I also had to design the side of the dress, which took me longer because I wanted to make it something with different patterns instead of plain colour,” Chloe said.

As far as winning the competition, it definitely took the Tumut netballer by surprise, and the thought of professional players wearing her design was reward enough.

“Winning the competition feels pretty cool. It’s something I didn’t really think was going to happen,” Chloe said.

“To know that professional players are going to wear the dress design is pretty amazing and something I definitely didn’t imagine was going to happen.

“With all of this, the other part of the prize is to be at the game live in Perth when they wear it [and] hopefully I am able to experience that.”

The front and back of Chloe Turnbull’s unique dress design.

Netball WA and West Coast Fever’s Head of Communications Nikki Brown explained why Chloe was judged to be the winner of the competition.

“Chloe’s design captures the Black Swan, an icon of Western Australia, and a bright floral pattern and states a connection to unity with the words ‘Stronger Together’ within the design,” Brown said.

The Fever’s motivation for holding the competition was to keep young netballers interested in the sport and give them more of a reason to continue to support their club during Covid-19. 

“The purpose of West Coast Fever is to inspire and make you proud, and our motivation behind this competition was to create a new opportunity for our members and supporters to integrate into our unique game day experience,” Brown said.

“Our message to our fans is that they are critical to our success as a Club and this competition is another opportunity to celebrate the important role they play.”

Once the Suncorp Super Netball competition gets going after Covid-19, the West Coast Fever will be wearing Chloe’s dress in round one, which will no doubt be a humbling experience for the young designer.