Last Saturday was the opening of the 2019 primary school netball season at the Wanaka Recreation Centre. Around 150 girls, and five boys, from the three local schools; Wanaka Primary, Holy Family, and Hawea Flat all took to the courts with huge enthusiasm. The weather was autumn at its best, so the frigid Saturday mornings in ice-cold wind is something still to look forward to.
Many kids had never played before, and had had only one training session during school lunchtime, so were somewhat bewildered at proceedings with faint understanding of the rules. But the old hands were encouraging whilst umpires were patient, and everyone left the court with a smile.
Netball Upper Clutha acknowledges the 22 coaches and six students from Mt Aspiring College who freely give their time to coach the young teams. Without their volunteer help and community spirit, junior netball simply wouldn’t work. There are also three regular umpires and three part-time umpires, but, as that doesn’t quite stretch to cover all games, some coaches step in to umpire also.
All teams played two games last Saturday, and will do so again on May 11, then revert to one game each Saturday for the rest of the season.