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Netball’s revolt


South Wairarapa looks over the hill
Parent starts petition

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Netball Wairarapa’s decision to change junior game days from Saturdays to Mondays and Tuesdays is going ahead despite opposition from members of South Wairarapa’s netball community.

Year three and four teams will now play on Mondays from 4.30pm, while teams made up of years five to eight will play at either 4.30pm or 5.30pm on Tuesdays.

The venue will also change from Kuranui College to Masterton’s newly-refurbished Colombo Rd netball complex.

A meeting was held on Monday night among members of Netball Wairarapa and representatives from Carterton, Greytown and Southern netball clubs to discuss the changes.

Netball Wairarapa could not provide comment before the Times-Age deadline on Monday but the Netball Southern Committee said the three reasons given for the change were “facility utilisation, health and safety, and allowing more boys to play as they can now play rugby/soccer and netball”.

The Southern committee said there was no consultation on the implementation of the change.

A spokesperson said 15 players had already been lost as a result of the decision.

“At the moment we’re communicating with Central Netball and Netball New Zealand to see where we can go from here.

“We’re considering a few options such as starting our own year three and four competition, if we have enough teams, and shifting the year seven and eight girls’ team to the Hutt Valley competition.”

Southern Netball said it would hold a meeting in Martinborough next week “looking at opportunities for those who can no longer play the sport they love”.

It says the move will result in players from the southern part of the region spending between two and five times the length of their games travelling.

“Sport is about participation, participation is fostered through access and affordability. Getting and keeping the children active should be the greater goal.”

The move to midweek games will also impact officials and volunteers.

“Work commitments during the week mean we will lose significant coaches, managers and umpires – the loss is already double figures. Alternatively, some parents will make it work and lose income.”

Any cancellations would also create a “logistical nightmare for working parents”.

Jess Matthews, a parent from Featherston, started an online petition on Monday night to change the game days back to Saturdays.

“It’s screwed up everything – a lot of teams have had to drop out because coaches, managers, umpires won’t be able to make the games.

“Parents who are working won’t be able to see their children play, and even some won’t be able to make the 5.30pm games – and what about the parents who work over the hill?”

Matthews feared the change would impact her daughter’s secondary school sport.

“My daughter goes to college next year – and this is meant to be a big year of netball for her but if she can’t play, will she be able to make the college teams?

“A lot of these girls will be discouraged. They might be put off netball for the rest of their lives.”


  1. Absolutely ridiculous heads will roll at netball Wairarapa. I’d happily South Wairarapa in forming their own competition.

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