Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Exciting Times at Haier Pulse for Millie Lees

Exciting Times at Haier Pulse for Millie Lees

26 February 2014

Although she has already played five full seasons for the Haier Pulse, mid-courter Mille Lees is as enthusiastic as a rookie as she prepares for the 2014 ANZ Championship. She has high hopes for the campaign which begins on Monday with the season opener against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Te Rauparaha Arena, the home of the Haier Pulse.

Despite being only 24 years of age, Millie has notched up an impressive total of 65 games for the Haier Pulse and 11 caps for the Silver Ferns. It’s no surprise then that Pulse fans view her as one of the more experienced players in the team.

“This is my sixth year and I’m one of the longest standing,” laughs the bubbly mid-courter who debuted for the Pulse in 2009. “It’s nice to be considered one of the more experienced players, but equally this year is going to be quite exceptional I think. We’ve got a great mix of youth and experience.”

Millie is referring to the Pulse’s impressive line-up of international players which includes Ama Agbeze, Donna Wilkins, Irene van Dyk, Joline Henry, Katarina Cooper, captain Katrina Grant, Liana Leota, Paula Griffin and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit. New recruits are Gemma Hazeldine and Elias Shadrock, who join the returning Claire Kersten in the squad.

She has absolute belief that coach Robyn Broughton is the right person to bring the players together this season and fulfil a long-held goal.

“It’s the third time Robbie has guided us and she has big expectations to take us to the top four. Having Donna and Irene in the team I think boosts us significantly and I also share Robbie’s belief that we can meet her high expectations.”

Millie has had to be extra focused over the summer after suffering a stress fracture in her foot during a national training camp in September. Confined to a moon boot for six weeks, she is the first to admit she spent her fair share of time “shuffling round” and was unable to take part in the Haier Pulse’s two pre-season camps.

“I had lots of rehabilitation and recovery and since my moon boot came off, have been very slowly building up my strength and fitness to be ready for the season. It was frustrating at the time. There were days I was just sitting on the couch thinking how much I’d love to go for a run and couldn’t.”

But the rehabilitation paid off and Millie was named as wing attack in the Silver Ferns starting line-up during January’s test series against England and is confident her form will improve over the season.

“I’ll be focused on finding space and passing the ball to Irene and Donna at the perfect speed. I need to make sure my attacking is crisp and accurate and that our combinations flow together.
“It’s a privilege to play with Donna and Irene … they’re far more experienced, but they set the standard high and that trickles down through the team.”

When Millie isn’t out on court, she is busy walking the wards of Hutt Hospital’s Cardiology Unit. The quaified doctor is currently working as a house surgeon and over the years has become a master of time management.

“It’s been years of practise … I just have to manage my time well and be super organised,” she admits. “I get up early to train, I go to work, then in the evenings it’s more training. I am actually very lucky that both work and the Haier Pulse are understanding and allow me to do the two things I love.”

Despite the hectic schedule and lots of toing and froing across Wellington, Millie says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I think netball and medicine complement each other. It puts things in perspective as well. For example, when you’re getting nervous on court or if you’re having a bad day you often think ‘well it is a game’ and there are worse things that can happen.”

Millie grew up on a farm in the small rural community of Pukekawa in the Waikato. After completing high school in Auckland, she went onto medical school all the while rising through netball’s age-group ranks. Named in the NZ U21 team in 2007, Millie was also in the national team that finished second at the 2009 World Youth Championships in the Cook Islands. She was selected for the Silver Ferns in 2009, but made her on-court debut for the national side in England at the start of 2011. She is one of many Haier Pulse players looking to gain selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in July-August.

When Millie does find time for herself, she enjoys summers at the Coromandel with her family and winters up the mountain skiing with friends. She is also the official San Remo Netball Brand Ambassador in New Zealand.

“I feel like Wellington is home now… I’ve been here for almost five years. I love how it’s compact, has a great culture and there are always things on.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Monarchy: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Are Expecting Second Child

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child. More>>

ALSO:

2015: Elton John Plans Wellington Show

After nine years, Elton John and his band will return to Westpac Stadium, Wellington for one spectacular concert! The November 21, 2015 concert will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career... More>>

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news