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11 November 2022

Clubs struggle with numbers as netball season kicks off

Wednesday 11 May 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Netball, Sports

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Clubs struggle with numbers  as netball season kicks off
The Ngatangiia/Matavera vs Titikaveka Under 6 netball squad game. Photo: Melina Etches/22050701

The Rarotonga Netball Season has kicked off to a shaky start with the open grades.

Some clubs struggled to field teams on Wednesday last week.

However, it was a great few days of netball which saw each village turning up to support their women and the sport of netball, said Tekura Moeka’a, the secretary of Netball Cook Islands.

Each club has about 100 players, so to speak, and this should be confirmed by the third round when all clubs put in their final registration of players, Moeka’a said.

Some clubs who previously were able to field teams were unable to do so this time around.

For example, Arorangi and Tupapa fielded only one open team, whereas the open grades are usually very popular with the most experienced players, Moeka’a explained.

The same happened with Titikaveka who were unable to field 8U and 10U teams, she said, “however, these clubs still have the opportunity to have another team for the remainder of the season.”

There was also a lot of uncertainty to do with the Covid-19 pandemic environment and restrictions, hence some clubs were unable to mobilise their players.

Takuvaine, one of the smaller clubs, was able to take up the challenge and is one club that had a good start to the season with fielding all teams.

There is definitely a lot of interest in the 8years to 15 years grades, then there is a gap for some clubs in the 16 to 21 year age group, said Moeka’a, who would like to encourage parents to take their children to netball training.

“This is a great opportunity or stepping stone leading to Cook Islands Games and Netball Cook Islands encourages everyone to get involved.”

Currently the Cook Islands National Squad based on Rarotonga are training under Andrew Iroa - the Strength and Conditioning Coach.

The sessions are held at 5.30am, either at the Domes in Tupapa or the National Stadium in Nikao, and Iroa has opened all his sessions to all netball players and athletes.

“The netball season has come at a good time, one would say, as game time on court will assist with the squad in both match play and game fitness,” said Moeka’a.

Netball Cook Islands thanks all the amazing volunteers - bench officials, timers, umpires and club executives as with your support and helping hand - Netball is well and truly alive.

Today Wednesday will feature Round 1, Game 2 with the Open Grades starting at 4.30pm.

Takuvaine will host Titikaveka in the valley and Ngatangiia/Matavera will host Tupapa in the East and Arorangi will host Avatiu in the West.

On Saturday all grades will take the court starting at 11am, the “young and upcoming players - 6U -15U grades are always the stars of the day.”

The Results for Round 1, Game 1 are as follows.

Tupapa vs Arorangi (Tupapa Score First): Prems 48-43; Reserves, 33-46; Opens, 16-23; 15U - 22-16; 12U - 3-25; 10U - 1-14; 8U - 2-5; 6U - 8-6.

Avatiu vs Takuvaine (Avatiu Scores First): Prems 32-28, Reserves, 44-19, Opens 1, 17-31; Opens 2, 21-36; 15U - 46-6; 12U - 16-12; 10U - 12-6; 8U - 0-3; 6U - 6-1.

Ngatangiia/Matavera vs Titikaveka (Nga/Mat Scores First): Reserves 30-45, Opens 1, 27-15; Opens 2, 13-19; 15U - 16-17; 12U - 23-2; 10U - Nga/Mat Win by Default; 8U - Nga/Mat Win by Default; 6U - 3-3.