Waitaki Girls’ High School netball coach Rihi Schultz missed out on an Australian trip as a player but is excited to be taking a new generation of talented players across the ditch.

Eleven Waitaki netballers and five accompanying adults are heading to the Gold Coast on Tuesday for the International Netball Festival.

“It’s been something that has been on the cards for a while,” Schultz said.

“The girls have been looking forward to it.

“We thought it was a good time to go with a pretty good group of players back from last year.

“This is a great chance to get some different, and tough, netball to kick off the season.”

The tour would include recovery days and “fun days” as well as plenty of netball, Schultz said.

“For the girls, it’s a bit of an insight into what it will be like if they go any further in netball.

“We’ll try to do everything as professionally as we can.

“It’s a really cool opportunity.”

Schultz said the 11 touring players were chosen from the Waitaki Netball Academy, which is open to any netballer keen to get better.

Among the leading lights of the squad are GK/GS Taneisha Fifita and midcourter Caitlin Judd, both of whom have experience of senior club netball in Dunedin.

The festival includes 34 teams, from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, competing across three divisions over four days.

All teams will play, on average, three full games a day over the first three game days.

Playoffs will be on the final day, April 19, followed by a dinner and awards at Dreamworld.Running sportsBoots