Club History

The Adelaide Cougars Netball Club was formed in 1991 by the amalgamation of Southside and Colonel Light Gardens.

Colonel Light Gardens was originally the Colonel Light Gardens Uniting Church team, which played in the United Church Netball Association competition. When that Association chose not to affiliate with SANA, the Club made the move to what was then the City Winter Day Competition, and gradually won its way through to A1. When, in 1991, Colonel Light Gardens had to find a new A1 Coach due to an interstate transfer, they had trouble doing so, and following discussions of the Club’s aspirations the decision was made that they wanted to be a competitive Club at the highest level and not just a social netball club. It was then that they started looking at possible options for an amalgamation.

An approach from SUNA was rejected for several reasons including not wishing to relocate the Club headquarters to Morphett Vale and also the danger of the Club losing its autonomy.

Colonel Light Gardens initiated an approach to Southside, an established Club competing in A1, to consider amalgamation. Southside had the senior grades and high junior grades and Colonel Light Gardens had good senior depth and a stronger junior base with a sound management and social structure.

The amalgamation went well. During the first year the new Club, which had to compete for the first season as Southside-Colonel Light Gardens to retain its existing teams in all grades, organised a change of name to come into effect in the second year. A competition was held within the Club for a new name. The winning entry of “Cougars” has its origins in letters from within the two original names.

The original uniform and colour scheme was recommended by a group of senior players and the senior coach at the time, who formed a committee to design the uniform. The recommended colour scheme of forest green and royal blue was well received and used in a two colour skirt of a style not used before.

Since then the State League Competition has evolved, and with the advent of television coverage and the fact that all matches are played indoors, State League uniforms have changed dramatically and often.

With the inception of the National Netball League in 1996, Adelaide Cougars became a feeder club for the Adelaide Ravens.

The senior section of the Club changed to a royal blue sleeveless sports top with a forest green pleated skirt overprinted with blue cougars in 1996. Age grade players followed in 1997.

For season 1999 the whole club, from State League to Sub Primary changed uniform to a forest green lycra bodysuit with prominent royal blue running cougars on the skirt and royal blue trim.

The Adelaide Cougars Netball Club were State League Premiers in 1999.

With the demise of the Adelaide Ravens in the National League at the end of season 2002, Adelaide Cougars became a feeder club for the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

For season 2009 all Cougars teams changed into a dress style of uniform (green with blue and white together with blue shorts) similar to the style used in the national ANZ Trophy competition.

In 2011 the State League competiton was revamped, with the aim of addressing the imbalance in the competition, reducing the number of teams in the new Premier League to 6 (Cougars, Contax, Matrics, Jaguars, Woods Panthers & Garville), whilst expanding the Reserves competition to 10 teams (Cougars, Contax, Matrics, Jaguars, Woods Panthers, Garville, Oakdale/Cheerio, Tango, Harlequin and Western Jets). There was a lot of controversy over the omission of Oakdale (2008 Premiers). Ultimately, an undertaking was given to expand the Premier League to 8 teams in 2012, provided teams met the laid down criteria.

For season 2015 Cougars were excluded from the State Premier League competition. A Special General Meeting was held in conjunction with the AGM and the decision to plan for a return to the Premier League in 2017 was endorsed.

The reduced number of teams in the interim along with the financial impost of being a Premier League delayed the decision to re-enter the Premier League Competition. The current and future focus is on rebuilding the club and regaining a position in the AMND League Grade along with creating development pathways for all players.