FEATURE: Nelson Netball 2015


There has been plenty of action in Nelson Netball circles and the first goal is yet to be attempted! The Annual General Meeting in February saw the end of Julie McGrath’s rotation on the Nelson Netball Board, while Andy Vincent resigned. Both Julie and Andy have made enormous contributions to Nelson Netball. Under the constitution there were two appointed positions vacant which were filled by Gary Cox and Les Edwards. Both men bring valuable attributes to the 2015 Board. Julie Baxendine was elected as Chairperson as Andy’s replacement. Leanne Cook has been co-opted onto the Board to join sitting members Jane Andrew and Carol Cook.

Dayna Whiting has been appointed as Netball Development Co-Ordinator and has hit the ground running as she comes to terms with her new role. One of her first assignments was to organise the recent School Holiday programme. Over 90 Year 5 – 8 players were put through their paces and by all accounts the programme was a resounding success.

Nelson Netball’s sub committees have all spent time together to prepare for the coming season. The Competitions Committee have at this stage, got the most arduous task in organising the grades, and have opted for eight team grades as opposed to the traditional six team competition.

Premier 2 finalists Nelson College for Girls A and Stoke Sun City Paint and Panel have taken the two extra spots in Premier 1. While teams each nominated a grade they wished to play in, the Competitions Committee have spent considerable time in arranging a draw for Grading Day on 2 May. Teams will play shortened games which will in some grades be scrutinised by a panel, and along with the results will determine grades for Round 1.

There are 161 teams registered with 33 Senior, 78 Secondary and 50 Intermediate teams, with a significant increase in Secondary grades. Grading Day is a huge undertaking, it resembles a military manoeuvre as more than 200 games are set down to be played and that’s a whole lot of umpires required!!

It will be a mammoth task for the Competitions Committee on Sunday as they pour over results and performances to finalise the grades.

Team registrations for Junior grades are yet to close and all indications are that there will be an increase in these grades.
Nelson Netball is fortunate in securing sponsorship from Nelson Bays Motor Group in the form of a new car which has been expertly signwritten by Warren Burrows and his team at Power Signs. The car will be easily spotted around town with an action shot of Jodi Hikuroa-Jeffrey on the side.

Netball Manager Chelsea Routhan has got her sleeves pulled up and is set for another extremely busy season. 2014 was a successful one, both on and off the court as Chelsea managed her fiscal role to the highest level to finish the financial year in a sound position.

A huge part of expenditure for Nelson Netball is the development of the game and representative expenses. Chelsea is constantly working to form sponsorship partners to assist in this vital area. Russells Curtains & Blinds are major sponsors of the Under 17’s who have an extensive schedule with tournaments in Wellington and Mt Maunganui. Richmond Mall is the Under 13 sponsors for their campaign.

The Games Officials Committee which encompasses Umpires as well as Technical Officials is convened by Deb Vincent. An Umpiring for Dummies seminar was well received last season and will again be held 1 May at 7pm at Saxton Netball Pavilion. It is an informal session that can not only benefit your umpiring, but also your play, as rules and interpretation of rules can be clarified. Without a doubt it will be a couple of hours well spent, and the confidence with a whistle will increase.

A new initiative is that Senior 3 and lower (Senior, Collegiate and Intermediate) teams will provide an umpire for their own game each week. It is expected that umpires provided by teams will umpire in a professional and impartial manner to provide a good experience for all players on court. If the umpire is a coach of the team, then coaching can only take place at intervals, not while the game is in progress. If a player umpires then that person must umpire the entire game.

Marilyn Milne is the Umpire Draw Steward and would welcome anyone willing to take up the whistle and can be contacted on 0275471117.

The annual Geraldine Hodgson Tournament will be played at Anzac Weekend over Saturday afternoon and Sunday. The tournament will be contested over three grades with the addition of an Intermediate grade as well.