History of Tango

Tango Netball Club has a rich history, that is over 75 years old. Read about how the Tango Netball Club came to be!

Our Story

Our story is a chronicle of women’s sport within South Australia and how it developed after the Second World War. 

It provides an insight into how the traditions of our club developed, along with a reminder that we are all simply guardians of our game. 

Much has changed for Tango over the years, such as name changes, mergers and the manner that netball has grown in its profile and position. However, one thing remains the same… our drive for success.

The Origins of Tango Netball Club

Tango Netball Club had its origins from the St. Barnabas Church of England teams based at Kilkenny, a western suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. In 1946, St. Barnabas entered their two teams in the South Australian Netball Association (S.A.N.A.), under the names of Raiders 1 and Raiders 2. They played under the colours of Tangerine and Brown. SANA however would not accept the two Raiders teams under the same name, so St. Barnabas was informed that the usual thing to do at that time was to select a new name for one of the teams derived from the club colours. We decided to combine tangerine and brown and the TANGO name was born. About three years after this new formation, the Raiders team disbanded. In 1947, a combined State church team made up of SANA representative players was formed, taking the name of IKONS and wearing the colours of navy and white. This team was disbanded in 1950 after three seasons. TANGO applied for the use of these colours in 1950, but there was no navy material available as war time rationing was still in place. Therefore, we decided that our colours would be black instead of navy and white. We commenced the new season of 1951 in these colours.

The first Tango Netball Team

A newspaper article about the first Tango team in 1947 reported that Tango, the newcomers to the women’s basketball (the old term for netball) competition had settled down quickly and were second on the premiership list in B grade, having lost only two matches. One of their players, Shirley Groves, playing in defence had even been chosen in the South Australian State team to represent the State in the ‘All-Australian’ tournament in Brisbane in August of that year. Even at that early stage in its history, the very first year it joined the competition, Tango had a representative in the State team. And practically every year since, there has been one or more representatives from Tango in the South Australian team and more importantly, also in the Australian team.

The Merger of the Golden Grove Firebirds and the Tango Netball Club

The Firebirds were formed in 1983, when Bruce Easom’s daughters Melissa & Rebecca wanted to play netball. He could not find a club that would take both of them, so they formed their own club. The team played indoors at Turramurra in the first two seasons and played in the finals.

The club developed over the next 3 to 5 years and grew to 10 teams with two very successful division one sides in U15s & U13’s that had accumulated 6 premierships.

By 1989 the Firebirds saw a huge growth in the club with again the top teams winning premierships and their top side with many juniors in them playing at senior level. Discussions continued with the council and they secured the two courts at Golden Grove. Their name changed to Golden Grove Firebirds. At this stage the club had grown to 20 teams.