Tragedy at Berkeley netball game

Beth Leske posted this photograph on her Facebook page on July 23.

Beth Leske posted this photograph on her Facebook page on July 23.

On her way to Fred Finch Park at Berkeley for the last round of the netball season Beth Leske would have had a lot on her mind.

She may have been thinking about the game ahead, the last before the semi-finals or her thoughts may have been on her wedding day to take place in a few weeks' time.

Like any bride-to-be before her big day she was excited about marrying the man she loved, but possibly a little sad that her late father David Leske, a former Illawarra Hawks’ manager, wouldn’t be by her side as she walked down the aisle.

Leske, who was a friend, mentor and inspiration to the Hawks, died of leukaemia in 2001 when Beth was just 14.

Leske left behind a wife, Cathy and six children. On Saturday the family suffered another massive blow as Beth, believed to be his youngest daughter, collapsed on the netball court around 2pm before dozens of players and spectators.

Two off-duty paramedics administered CPR at the scene before she was rushed by ambulance to Wollongong Hospital, where she later died. The 27-year-old Fairy Meadow player leaves behind a young son.

Beth was a former Illawarra Sports High School student and an Illawarra representative junior basketball player during her teen years.

In 2000 she competed in the national championships with the Illawarra under 14 girls basketball team representing NSW Country.

It is unknown what caused her death or whether she had a pre-existing medical condition.

While the game Beth had been playing in on Saturday was stopped after her fall, the Illawarra District Netball Association (IDNA) was criticised by some players online at the Mercury for not cancelling subsequent games. IDNA president Diane Elvy declined to comment on the matter.


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