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Passing from the old to the new

Makoura College’s netball teams have been awarded an ANZ Netball Grant to replace their outdated gear. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

John Lazo-Ron
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It was 2006 when Makoura College’s netball teams had brand new gear at their disposal.

Now, after 15 years of scrapping through each season with minimal and worn out resources, the Masterton college can step on to the court with confidence again after being awarded an ANZ Netball Grant, worth more than $1000, to replace their outdated gear.

The bank chain gives netball clubs and teams throughout Aotearoa a chance to apply for a grant to help them advance their training and put their best foot forward on game day.

Makoura College’s netball coach Georgina Lologa along with the school’s sports co-ordinator applied for the grant on behalf of the college’s three teams after feeling “disheartened” with the gear her players had been using.

“We didn’t even have our own netball bags and cones,” she said.

“We had two training balls and we’d have to scrape together the money to buy a match ball. These kids deserve a little bit more than having hand-me-downs.”

Lologa said after being with the school for 11 years, something more had to be done for the kids who wanted to play netball.

“I’m passionate about netball. I’m here to make sure the kids will progress into the sport.

“It’s a struggle when it comes to bringing on new teams and trying to provide volunteer coaches with the gear they need. I’m looking at the teams and I’m thinking we need to bring back the mana to these kids. They’re talented young kids and we want them to look good and feel good.”

Lologa said the new gear, which includes training and match balls, bibs, spot markers, a timer, and a gear bag, had given the kids a much-needed boost.

“They were ecstatic when they saw the gear for the first time. The girls were like, “Is this all for us”?” she said when describing the girl’s reactions to the gear.

“The Year 13 girls who have been playing netball for the five years they have been there, they were saying, “wow, we finally get some stuff.”

“We’re very blessed to receive this. It’s very nice to be awarded something we deserve. This gear makes them know that they’re going to have worthwhile training and skills.”

Lologa said netball was a vital pathway for these girls’ future, and it was her duty to make sure they embraced it.

“I want to create something for these kids so they can learn the basics and become good players,” she said.

“I want to make sure we can bring talent from Makoura College out into the community so they can be seen and acknowledged.

“The Wellington region club coaches are interested and are ready to grab them when they leave school.”

Although the college netball season is now over, Lologa said the three teams had already put the gear to good use.

ANZ Head of Sponsorship Sue McGregor said they were proud to be supporting netball from grassroots teams in Wairarapa right up to the ANZ Premiership and Silver Ferns.

“It’s local schools such as Makoura College that introduce our youngsters to netball and nurture their love for the game into the passion we see in our elite players today,” she said.

“We hope this grant helps keep the passion for netball alive in the community for many seasons to come.”

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