Netball off to flying start

The start of the netball season saw juniors – these are Years 5 and 6 – fill the courts at the Hibiscus Coast Netball Centre in Manly.

Junior netballers, many playing their first ever game, were excited to get on the Hibiscus Coast Netball Centre courts for the start of the season.

The first games were played on May 12. A total of 55 teams are entered from local schools, playing in Years 3-6.

The centre’s Future Ferns programme for Year 1 and 2 players is full, with 32 children enrolled.

Hibiscus Coast Netball’s junior netball coordinator, Chevania Johnson, says with only four games played last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, everyone is looking forward to a proper season ahead.

This season, for the first time, the local centre has become a satellite of Netball North Harbour (NNH). This means NNH handles all the administrative work and supports a paid convenor to deliver competitions. That work is supported by local volunteers, including Chevania.

NNH chief executive Lynette Brady was at the courts to make sure everything was running smoothly at the start of the season.

She says stepping in to help the local club was the right move for all concerned.

“There is a massive shortage of court space, so there was no way we could risk losing these courts, which could have happened with the local club struggling,” she says. “We have concept plans for courts at Metro Park in Millwater, but it could cost $9 million to build them and who has that kind of money?”

She says drainage issues are a huge element of that cost estimate.

At Hibiscus, Lynette says a key aim is to see senior players (college age and up) join for social games.

“It’s a great option that means you can play with your friends locally, and to your ability down at North Harbour.”

A number of college students, largely from Whangaparāroa College, are volunteering at the courts in umpire or coaching roles.

Back stories May 5, 2021

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