It was all about netball at four Oamaru schools on Monday, thanks to visits from members of the Southern Steel netball squad.
The squad was in town as part of its preparations for the national premier netball competition that starts this month and replaces the transtasman ANZ Championship.
While in Oamaru, the Steel hosted training sessions for school pupils and coaches, played a pre-season match against Netball South, and visited St Joseph’s, Oamaru Intermediate, Fenwick and Ardgowan schools.
At Ardgowan, midcourter Gina Crampton, shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit and defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit took a group of enthusiastic youngsters through a series of warm-up exercises, before teaching them the finer points of passing and shooting.
They then took questions from pupils to wrap the session up.
Crampton, who was part of the Silver Ferns squad that finished second in the recent quad series that also featured Australia, England and South Africa, said the Steel players enjoyed their time in Oamaru.
“It’s been awesome .. we’ve been trying to get out and visit as many people as we can, so it’s been really nice.”
She enjoyed visiting schools and said it was encouraging to see so many younger people taking an interest in the sport.
“It’s really fun. They enjoy it and it takes you back to when you were starting out at that stage. Hopefully, we can pass on some knowledge to them and keep them, or get them into, the game.”
Crampton was pleased with the Steel’s performance in its clash against the Netball South Beko League team at the Waitaki Community Recreation Centre. The Steel won 77-39 after leading 44-19 at halftime.
“We had a good hit-out .. we found some things we need to work on, but we can go forward now and work on them. The Beko team really challenged us and they’ve got some really good players.”
The Steel plays the Mainland Tactix in two games in Dunedin this weekend.
* Oamaru schoolgirl Taneisha Fifita has been named in the Netball South squad for the Beko League.
Towering Waitaki Girls’ High School shooter Fifita was named in a squad of 12 by coach Georgie Salter on Monday.
the talented Heffernan twins from St Hilda’s Collegiate School in Dunedin, have been named subject to approval from Netball New Zealand