Pair selected for netball

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Makeleta Ula (with the ball).
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Two Mid Cantabrians have been chosen to attend a New Zealand secondary school netball development camp early next year in Ashburton.

Ashburton College’s Makeleta Ula and Mount Hutt College’s Rebekah Kalweit will be among the cream of New Zealand’s secondary school netball talent who converging on Ashburton from January 19 to 21.

Both Ula and Kalweit played in the Mid Canterbury Netball ACL premier 1 competition in 2023, with Ula playing for College A and Kalweit for Methven Wareings A.

Both were also members of the Mid Canterbury U16A rep team in 2023.

Mid Canterbury Netball centre manager Erin Tasker said the last Mid Canterbury player to attend the national camps was Mia Pearson in 2020 when there was just one camp held nationally.

Since that change the EA Networks Centre in Ashburton has played host to the Southern camp each year.

She said it was great that Netball NZ kept coming back, and a credit to the council-run facility.

“And now, in 2024, to have two of our own players included in this camp having been identified as some of the most promising players within the Mainland Zone, is so exciting,” Tasker said.

Netball NZ will host three national development camps in January; the other two are in Auckland and Hastings.

Rebekah Kalweit.

Ula and Kalweit were identified at a regional development day in Ashburton in October, and put forward for an advanced day for players from the Mainland Zone. They were then nominated to attend the national development camps.

A final list of 90 players to attend the camps was released last week.

New Zealand pathway programmes manager Nicky Cattermoul said it was a really important component of the pathway process for these young players,’’

‘‘Over each of the three-day camps, players will undergo a series of movement competency screenings, fitness testing, skill sessions, positionspecific sessions and match play.

‘‘The aim of the camp to is educate, grow and challenge, to help improve individual skillsets, but also for players to gain an understanding of the expectations to be a performance netballer.’’

The camp will be led by New Zealand Secondary Schools head coach Pelesa Semu and assistant coach Jo Morrison, assisted by the Synergy Hair National League head coaches Ripeka Pirie (Northern Marvels), Michelle Parsons (Northern Comets), Te Aroha Keenan (WaiBOP), Ngamara Milner-Olsen (Central Manawa), Geni Ah Tong (Mainland) and Abbey McKenzie (Southern Blast) with support from Netball Smart staff.