Teaching them right

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Netball South has held its annual development camp for the lower South Island’s promising netballers in Oamaru for the first time.
The camp, based at Waitaki Girls’ High School, took place last week and attracted 40 young netballers between the ages of 13 and 15 from around Otago and Southland, including a handful from Oamaru.
Netball South community netball manager Rosie De Goldi said as well as games and skills sessions, the camp had a heavy focus on game preparation and injury prevention, aspects she said were important to drill into players early.
“We’ve been learning the new Netball Smart warm-up, which helps with injury prevention.”Those at the camp also learned more about strapping and treating injuries, as well as taking part in recovery sessions, core strength training, zumba classes and a session on nutrition.
An umpiring session was also held, while former Waitaki Girls’ netballer Jennifer O’Connell spoke at the camp.
“It’s teaching them the skills to ready them for netball. It’s the practice of how not to get injured, so we can build better netballers in the long run,” Mrs De Goldi said.
She said the camp, to be held in Oamaru every three years, was the ideal place to identify players with the potential to achieve higher honours, such as going on to play for the Southern Steel in the ANZ Championship or for Southern in the newly-created National Netball League.
“There are some really nice players that we would like to track and keep an eye on. We look forward to seeing them at the school at rep team games through the year to see how they’ve progressed.”Netball South’s programme for the development of young players is split into three levels.
The first guides players aged between 13 and 15, the second is for players under 17, and the third is for players in Southern’s national league team who are being groomed for the Steel squad.
Mrs De Goldi said it was difficult to say whether the camp contained any future Silver Ferns.
“It’s really hard to tell from this age. We find there’s a drop-off in player numbers from this age to senior secondary school level. But, if we can teach them the right things about netball from an early age and encourage a long love of netball, that’s great.”om6netballcamp