There were no cobwebs in sight though when future netball stars got the day’s games off to an energetic start.
Games were played at the Telecom Sports Arena – where players had to also deal with stuffy conditions – and at the breezy outdoor Arorangi courts.
A number of clubs struggled to field some teams for the afternoon games, however the netball machine is sure to kick into high speed next week.
As the competition will be over a shortened season this year, there will be little time to warm up and there were certainly players aware of this fact and looking sharp already in the first games of the season.
At the outdoor Arorangi courts, the Arorangi premier grade were too strong for the visiting Ngatangiia premier grade to win the first up encounter 61-14.
In fact, Arorangi had a strong performance on the courts, winning all but one of their games with the Ngatangiia babies in the under 8 division proving to be dynamite on the court to win 16-3.
At the TSA Nikao, players not only had to handle first game nerves but also the stifling conditions within the multi-sports complex.
The Tupapa and Takuvaine clubs were out in force with the Takuvaine under 11 division leading the way with a 22-0 win over their Tupapa counterparts. However, the Tupapa under 14 team turned the tables for a strong 25-7 win.
An evenly contested battle was seen in the talented under 17 division, with the Takuvaine ladies edging ahead of Tupapa to win 28-24.
A fun and vibrant senior open match was seen, with over 40 players proving that age is no barrier when it comes to sport.
The Tupapa mamas were able to edge ahead of their Takuvaine counterparts to win 18-15.
Takuvaine ran away with the win in the reserve grade 44-19, and a battle and a half was seen in the premier grade.
Both sides were balanced out with experienced and fresh-faced netters, with Tupapa’s standout player being 12-year old Nicole Marurai who not only had to perform under preasure in the top grade, but also play alongside her mum.
Despite a fighting effort, Tupapa went down 60-33 to a fit Takuvaine side who were looking very ambitious early in the season and are a side to keep an eye on.
In other games at the TSA, the Titikaveka Pearls and Avatiu club members came together to field teams made up of familiar club faithfuls and fresh faces.
Avatiu dominated in the junior grades, but the Pearls showed their strength in the reserve and premier grades.
Sporting fresh uniforms, the Pearls certainly looked ready for the season with an intense reserve grade match ending in a 38-33 win for them.
In the premier grade, it was slow going on both sides. However, the years of experience were clear, while the Avatiu club certainly have the potential for a strong year on the courts.
This week Titikaveka and Arorangi will meet while Takuvaine will take on Ngatangiia and Avatiu play Tupapa.
Results: Titikaveka vs Avatiu (Titikaveka scores first) – Premier 67 vs 43, Reserve 38 vs 33, Senior Open 24 vs 15, Under 17 game 19 vs 24, Under 14 game 14 vs18, Under 11 game 1 vs 28, Under 8 game 2 vs 11.
Takuvaine vs Tupapa (Takuvaine scores first) –Premier 60 vs 33, Reserve 44 vs 19, Senior Open 15 vs 18, Open 24 vs 15, Under 17 game 28 vs 24, Under 14 game 7 vs 25, Under 11 game 22 vs 0.
Arorangi vs Ngatangiia (Arorangi scores first) – Premier 61 vs 14, Reserve 54 vs 23
Senior Open 21 vs 6, Under 14 game 28 vs 6, Under 11 game 4 vs 8, Under 8 game 3 vs 16.