The Southern Football Netball League extends its deepest condolences to the Aiken family following the tragic passing of Melodie Aitken.
Well known and loved in SFNL netball circles, Mel was a larger than life figure throughout her involvement with the Chelsea Heights and Oakleigh District Football Netball Clubs, as well as the SFNL Media Team.
Her contributions at both the Heighters and the Districts were immense, not only as a player and a coach, but also in myriad off-court capacities. She was a tireless contributor and wonderful ambassador for the clubs she was involved in, as well as a terrific advocate for the SFNL netball competition more broadly.
In 2017, she tasted the ultimate success when, as coach, she lead the Oakleigh District side to the SFNL Division 7 premiership in her first season at the club.
The Districts' netball program grew immensely under Mel's stewardship - from one team in 2017, to five just two years later - to become the third biggest netball club in the competition. On the back of her remarkable efforts, Mel was a deserved recipient of the Glen Duncan Award for best club person.
Mel's impressive netball coaching credentials extended to representative level when took the reins as coach of the SFNL's Senior Netball Interleague team in 2018. She took on the role when few others were willing to put their hand up, further highlighting her commitment to the SFNL netball competition. While the side ultimately went down to a strong North Central team up in Boort, Mel nevertheless brought a high level of experience, professionalism and enjoyment to the team.
Melodie was also an accomplished media performer and regular contributor on the SFNL's radio broadcasts, including the pioneering live broadcasts of the SFNL Netball Grand Finals on 88.3 Southern FM. In 2017, Mel established and hosted the League's first dedicated netball problem alongside good friend Hugh Maclean. 'Nothing But Net' quickly grew a cult following, and became a Sunday morning institution on 88.3 Southern FM, further enhancing her nickname, Media Mel.
But above all of her media and netball achievements, Melodie will be fondly remembered for the incredible strength, courage and positivity that she displayed in everything she did. A wonderful human being that will be missed by so many.