Australian men's netball captain Dylan Nexhip believes a mixed event could open up an Olympic place at Brisbane 2032 ©Getty Images

Australia’s men’s netball captain Dylan Nexhip believes that the sport's hopes of inclusion at Brisbane 2032 could be boosted by the inclusion of a mixed event, possibly in the short form Fast5 discipline.

"I definitely think it's possible, it just depends on what format they look at, there are lots of rumours around that it could even be a mixed Fast5 event, so how it looks we're not sure," Nexhip told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

After the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, World Netball agreed with Netball Australia to make "a compelling case for inclusion" at Brisbane 2032.

"World Netball has since created a working group with Netball Australia to investigate the opportunity further and has had useful meetings to understand fully the process with both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) in Sydney," a World Netball statement said.

World Netball made presentations to Olympic officials in which they explained that netball had "a strong position in five continents especially in Africa and our position as the number one team sport for women and girls in Australia and across Oceania."

Netball authorities have also told Olympic officials "how we have been there to inspire and support women and girls for over 125 years."

Netball has become a compulsory sport in the Commonwealth Games since 1998, but in each case, only women’s teams have taken part.

Australia beat Jamaica in the gold medal match at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham ©Getty Images
Australia beat Jamaica in the gold medal match at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham ©Getty Images

The IOC’s gender equity policy has cleared the way for artistic swimming to include male participants at Paris 2024.

World Netball have made a pledge that will see them "embracing men and boys’ participation in netball."

Last November the sport held an "International Men’s Day" and promoted an international Fast5 event which included a men’s competition.

Jamaica won the inaugural competition for the Americas in St Vincent and the Grenadines last September.

Men’s and women’s internationals have also been held as part of a double-header in Australia and New Zealand.

"Jamaica has a men's team, they've got a series lined up with England next year, and some of the African countries also have men's teams in places like Uganda, Malawi, Kenya and South Africa," Nexhip added.

"Even in Asia, for example, we had Singapore come over and play in our Australian Men's and Mixed Netball Championships Reserve Division just last month, there are traces of it around the world."

World Netball was founded in 1960 but although the sport was played in the World Games from 1985 to 1993, it was not recognised by the IOC until 1995.

Netball’s most recent bid for a place on the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020 was unsuccessful.