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Netball staying with July start to season

College teams such as Wairarapa College play a big part in Netball Wairarapa competitions. PHOTO/FILE

NETBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

While some Wairarapa sports will kickstart their seasons in 10 days after the loosening of covid-19 restrictions around gatherings, Netball Wairarapa are sticking to their late July date.

General manager Scott Cottier confirmed that a board meeting on Monday night decided that there will be no change to their planned start of the season at the beginning of school term three, in the week of July 20.

The Netball NZ return-to-play guidelines state that competitions may start on or after June 19, leaving only three weeks of play before the traditional mid-winter school holiday break.

“We predominantly have school teams and they don’t want to play over the school holidays, so we will start in term three and will have a 10-week competition finishing in late September,” Cottier said.

“The primary school competitions are the same, and we will start those in the first week back after the holidays.”

Cottier expected only half of the usual number of teams competing would enter this season.

There is good news for teams, though, with affiliation fees reduced for the season.

Cottier said Netball NZ are not charging affiliation fees, Netball Central have reduced their fees by 50 per cent and Netball Wairarapa were considering a reduction in the affiliation fees.

He also urged clubs to apply for funding through the ANZ support fund of $1 million for netball and cricket, as well as the $1000 Sport NZ covid-19 relief package, which is available through Sport Wellington Wairarapa.

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