Linda Pearce

Linda Pearce is the Chief Tennis Writer and general sports reporter for The Age. She writes about a range of sports, including football, netball, and gymnastics. Linda has twice been named Australian tennis writer of the year.

New challenge: Simone McKinnis says the Vixens can compete with Collingwood's high profile and deep pockets.

Vixens' challenge is black and white

For almost a decade, until Collingwood's recent arrival, Melbourne had been a one-team netball town. The Vixens now have a rich, influential and highly, highly-ambitious rival. Simone McKinnis welcomes the competition. The attention. The challenge to improve.

Sevens player Charlotte Caslick in action during the Olympics tournament.

Women in sport: on your marks, get set....

Eddie McGuire has a vision. Involving Collingwood, naturally, but not quite what you might think. The Magpie president sees a sellout crowd for one of the big clashes of next season - the 2017 netball season. He imagines a swarm of girls playing on temporary courts marked on the club's oval, then watching the local national league derby on the big screen nearby. Perhaps some water slides, one staffer suggested, slightly tongue-in-cheek. Except that it's not a joke. Call this a sporting Disneyland. Or netball nirvana. Eddie does.

Alice Teague-Neeld feels now is a privileged time to be a sportswoman in Australia.

Financial wonderland for young netballer

Had Alice Teague-Neeld been born a decade earlier, she would be combining study and a part-time job with an elite club netball career that barely paid enough to cover her petrol bills. Teague-Neeld is among the lucky ones. Her third season will coincide with extraordinary changes at the top of a game played by more Australian women than any other.

On the move: Vixens star Madi Robinson is headed to Collingwood.

Collingwood poach new recruit from rivals

Fears that new the birth of powerful new rival Collingwood would diminish the nine-year-old Melbourne Vixens have been realised, with captain Madi Robinson set to defect to the Magpies for the inaugural national league season. 

Diamonds are forever: Australia won by five goals.

Diamonds beat Silver Ferns to sweep Quad Series

The ANZ Championship may exist no longer, but the trans-Tasman rivalry has entered its next exciting phase, Diamonds shooter Caitlin Bassett logging an international best 52 goals in Australia's 60-55 win over New Zealand in Melbourne.

Team leader: Clare McMeniman is proud to be the Diamonds new captain

Not Geitz, but captain McMeniman next best thing

If the question is which tenacious blonde Queensland Firebirds triple-premiership defender has  captained the Diamonds with distinction this year, the answer is not the one you might think. No, not the feted and decorated Laura Geitz, but her lower-profile teammate and close friend Clare McMeniman.

Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander is hoping the team bring intensity and attitude against New Zealand on Sunday.

Diamonds coach calls for a 20 per cent improvement

Lisa Alexander, maths teacher, is wary of using numbers to measure sporting performance. But Lisa Alexander, Australian Diamonds head coach, estimates the amount of improvement needed to beat New Zealand in Sunday's inaugural Quad Series decider is a minimum of 20 per cent.