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Melbourne has welcomed a new member to the Storm family with the launch of the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Australia’s newest sporting franchise, the Lightning will compete in the revamped National Netball League that will kick off in February next year.

Over 200 hundred people turned out at the University of Sunshine Coast on Wednesday for the unveiling of the Club’s name and logo.

Storm is a majority owner of the Lightning in partnership with the University of Sunshine Coast and the announcement has further strengthened the Club’s ties with the region.

Be at AAMI Park when we take on the Broncos, Friday 26 August, 7:30pm.

It is already home to Storm’s Under-20s side and its development academy.

Storm CEO Dave Donaghy believes the experience Melbourne holds in competing at sport’s elite level will greatly benefit the new franchise.

“From our point of view we’ve been involved for 18 years in the NRL. We are a very professional club, a very professional organisation,” Donaghy said.

“We want to see the Club be successful from the start, be extremely competitive and a team that the community is really proud of.

“We are committed to supporting Noeline and the team that is based up here to deliver on that premise.

“Right from the outset, we said this team and region needed its own identity. We obviously wanted to keep links, we think that’s a nice connection.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning will now begin to build their playing list for its inaugural season in 2017.