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‘Netties’ in their Droves at New Zealand Masters Games

‘Netties’ in their Droves at New Zealand Masters Games

500 women have come to Dunedin to play netball at the Otago Community Trust New Zealand Masters Games.

“Once a ‘nettie’, always a ‘nettie’, says Netball South CEO, Lana Winders who is herself taking to the court at the Games. She’s in good company with former Silver Fern Jo Morrison, former Sting player Kylie Young and numerous ex Otago and Southland netball representatives donning their netball gear for this huge competition.

Games ambassador Jodi Brown, herself a former Silver Fern, says, "It’s proof that once you’ve been involved in netball you will always be involved, netball provides a lot of opportunities and lifelong friendships”.

Lana Winders likens the pull of netball to childbirth.

“I think it is a little like having a baby. You feel the pain of labour at the time and then forget about it and decide to go back again. Plus netball is populated by diehard woman who after months and years of coaching and umpiring and managing school and club teams or following the Steel, decide it is time to have their fun on the court. It hasn’t anything to do with the compulsory shots of port at half time!”

Former Silver Fern, Jo Morrisson, says, “I’ve got to keep on moving!! This is a great opportunity to spend time with friends, play the game I love and have some laughs. It's very social you get to catch up with friends that are lifelong. It’s very well run and you can play at your level.”

Jo Ward, Netball South Community Manager, knows players that are in their 70s and still playing netball.

“You can choose to take it easy and use your head or if the body allows get stuck in and get physical. Netball caters for every ability. It is also an avenue to lifelong friendships.”

Lana Winders says, for ‘netties’, those bonds of friendship are everything.

“After 20 years of coming to Masters you build up a bond not only with your team, but the woman in other teams. I think we all recognise the wannabe Steel glints in each other eyes.

“I had my 50th birthday a while back. It was a three-day epic with a netball game thrown in the middle. My 81year old mother in law threw off and I played with my two daughters. Three generations on the court. Just a sample of the countless golden memories of netball happiness.”

The Otago Community Trust New Zealand Masters Games continue until 11 February.

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