Netball talent shines

Netball players enjoy the chance to develop and strengthen their netball game during Mid Canterbury Netball's new emerging talent programme.

As new initiative by Mid Canterbury Netball introducing new emerging talent has just wound up at EA Networks Centre.

The programme started late last year initially to help secondary school-aged players develop and strengthen, but ended up being so much more.

It was also used as an opportunity to develop and upskill coaches and umpires.

Mid Canterbury Netball (MCN) development officer/umpire co-ordinator Natalie Corbett said “if we’re doing something for players we need to look at how we can also incorporate our coaches and umpires in to what we’re doing, because for netball in Mid Canterbury to be strong, we need all three of the legs of that stool to be strong.”

MCN coach developer Claire Tappin came up with the Ropu Whakaako concept to include coaches and Corbett invited local umpires and umpire coaches along to the game play session to assist with their development.

MCN’s Emerging Talent programme saw players invited along, either because they were part of Mid Canterbury representative teams in 2021 and would be eligible for rep teams again in 2022, or after being nominated by their club.

They were given off-season training plans and then came together for three Friday evening sessions, before the programme culminated in two full on days recently at the EA Networks Centre.

Sessions were taken by Andrea Cousins, Cindy Meadows, James Love, Sally Carr and Kirsty Naish. As well as former Mainland NNL coach Ronelle Van Dongen, Netball NZ NetballSmart development officer Hannah Coutts, and Netball NZ trainer Tom Houghton.