Mila Te Whare-Manson in action for Makoura earlier this year. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV


Netball Central’s long-term goal is a successful home-grown Central Pulse team, and Wairarapa has an important part to play in that process.

That is the view of Netball Central’s new Beko head coach and zone performance manager, Pelesa Semu, who was in the region on Tuesday to meet with Netball Wairarapa staff.

Semu is a former Capital Shakers captain and Samoa international.

Pelesa Semu in coaching mode. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

She said she was looking forward to helping implement development programmes and strategies in the various regions that contribute to Netball Central’s cause.

“The purpose of those visits was to touch base with the centres in terms of what development plans and programmes they have in place for our emerging talent players within the region.

“It was also to ensure I could provide some support around that and give advice when required.”

As zone performance manager Semu will be responsible for the delivery of the Beko programme, the competition that sits immediately below the ANZ Premiership, programmes for New Zealand secondary school players, and talent identification and development.

Semu has built on her experience as a coach over the last 10 years while forging a successful record at school, club, age-group and national level.

She is part of Netball New Zealand’s Performance Coach Qualification, an on-going professional development pathway, and has also been involved with the Advanced Performance pathway run through Sport New Zealand.

Recently, Semu has been an Emerging Talent selector for Netball New Zealand, which included helping with selections for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team and the World Youth Cup-winning New Zealand Under-21s.

Between now and March, when the netball season kicks into gear once again, most of her time will be taken up with the planning stages of the Beko competition.

“Once the season hits and we get together as a final Beko team, that’s when the programme will be delivered,” she said.

“We want to ensure the support services are available for our centres, and make sure their talent development programmes are being delivered.”

Her time in Wairarapa had been “interesting and encouraging”, she said.

“It’s about ensuring that they have a programme set in place and they can identify players in the Wairarapa region, and having a programme to keep them in that pathway.

“We usually had a group of players from Wairarapa who have been identified in our talent clusters at the end of the year, but then they seem to drop off.”

Making sure local players know there is a pathway to the higher levels of the game was vital, she said.

One of the key drivers for the zone is eventually having a Pulse team full of local talent from across the region.

“The Wairarapa has an important part to play in that.

“We want some talented players in the region to come through the pathway and into the Pulse, and then we are achieving our goal.”