Netball's international competition heats up

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JULY 2017

FOR THE LOVE OF NETBALL

More pro opportunities; more action; more wins.
 
Nothing but net!
 
Thousands of fans are still beaming with pride after the ANZ Premierships, which concluded in late June. And the most popular women's sport in New Zealand is gaining more attention as the season's national international competition heats up.
 
But that’s not all, New Zealand’s Under 21 team’s victory over Australia at the Netball World Youth Cup 2017 made news headlines in July. In looking at recent success and the media coverage, it’s clear netball has come a long way from the grassroots origins .
 
Ideal for weekend warriors and serious athletes alike, netball began as women’s basketball in 1906, with nine players on each team. While many things have changed over the years, the spirit and determination that have driven the sport to a highly professional level have not waned.
 
A few milestones to consider:
 
● Between 1906 and 1932, 15 netball associations and a total of 742 teams are established.
 
● In 1938, the first national New Zealand team is named and tours Australia. Then, in 1961, international rules are adopted and women’s basketball is officially renamed to netball in 1970.
 
● Our national team completes the 2003 season undefeated, taking their first world title at the 11th World Championships since 1987.
 
● In 2012, Netball NZ creates five provincial netball zones to allow the game to develop at the community and professional levels.
 
● The Beko Netball League, which sits under the ANZ Premiership, was formed in 2016 to create more opportunities for the next tier of athletes wanting to develop their skills.
 
● In 2017, a sixth Auckland-based team, the Northern Stars, is created to add to the excitement of the new ANZ Premiership. The major domestic competition featured the Northern Mystics, Northern Stars, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Central Pulse, Mainland Tactix, and Southern Steel.
 
Today’s top netballers enjoy more opportunities for domestic and international competition than ever before. And fans across the country are loving it! More professional opportunities for young up-and-comers means more on-court action to soak up each year.
 
Young women now aspire to be a member of our national team, the Silver Ferns. They want to wear the black dress -- netball gear that is -- on behalf of their country during international competition.
 
ASICS women's sportswear moves with you, not against you. If you want great performance, fit and style, browse the ASICS collection now. We’ve also got the right netball shoes to support you on the court.
 
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How netball keeps Kiwis active
 
Top netballers work hard to stay in top condition. Yet, these athletes couldn’t imagine doing anything else, so the hours spent training are worth it. At a pro level, netballers train twice a day, five times a week plus a daily Saturday session. Stamina, agility, strength and speed are vital ingredients for their success. 
 
Netball has a firm hold on people of all ages and backgrounds throughout our communities. Today, there are 83 netball centres New Zealand-wide who serve more than 140,000 members and 300,000 others who just want to play the game.
 
ASICS is a proud supporter of Netball New Zealand, an organisation that develops and manages national programmes to ensure netball remains accessible to all Kiwis. While women and girls already love netball, men’s netball is growing in New Zealand. 
Netball builds team skills, confidence and leadership. But, who better to ask about the benefits of team sports then local ladies who play professional netball? 
 
For all three of the following athletes, enjoyment of the game is a big measure, yet Bailey Mes, Shannon Francois and Storm Purvis all have their own reasons for playing netball:
 
Professional netballers share their experiences
Like most everyday Kiwis, Bailey Mes likes staying fit through sport. 
 
As a professional netballer, her focus is on maintaining consistent performance throughout the season and improving her game any way she can. 
“Not many people get to do what I do; I’m grateful to be able to play”, she says. 
Supporting her teammates also motivates her to continue developing her individual skills. 
 
“The more you put in, the more you get out”, she said. “Focus on what you can control; remember what your strengths are”.
 
For Shannon Francois, the sport has helped her develop confidence in her own abilities. 
 
In particular, her coach inspired her to keep developing her athletic skills. 
 
“She believed in me and made me believe that I could do it”.
 
Now, she’s charging forward with her own personal development and working on her leadership skills to better support her team. 
 
 “I love challenging myself, pushing my body to see improvement”, she says. 
 
In addition, she strives to remain resilient, which many athletes learn to do when faced with the highs and lows of professional competition.
 
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, whatever your dreams are, it’s up to you to achieve them”, said Shannon. 
 
Netball has taught Storm Purvis resilience.
 
A daily challenge for Storm is pursuing a sport she loves while managing knee pain caused by patellar tendonitis. Her advice:
 
“Use your setbacks as motivation”. 
 
Overcoming this obstacle helps her focus on the small wins each day, such as: setting a personal best in the gym, nailing a training drill or making a swift intercept during a game. 
 
“If my knee is sore, it’s not about saying ‘I can’t do this’”, she says. 
 
Instead, she gives herself permission to feel pain and uses positive self-talk to maintain motivation. 

Tune in and show our netball teams your love
 
While Southern Steel dominated the ANZ Premierships earlier this year, there’s more to look forward to this season!
 
If you haven’t had the chance to catch a professional netball event in person, tickets are still available for some of these exciting international matches. Otherwise, Sky TV brings the net straight to your living room starting with the Netball Quad Series: New Zealand Silver Ferns vs South Africa Proteas on August 26.... 
 
Then the three-match contest between New Zealand and England for the Taini Jamison Trophy kicks off in September. Followed by the Constellation Cup in October. Get ready for another toe-to-toe competition between New Zealand and Australia. Four matches; two beloved national teams. Winner takes all. What’s not to love? 
 
Lastly, don’t miss the Fast5 Netball World Series Melbourne 2017, like the Rugby 7s, the game is faster and more action-packed than ever.  
 
ASICS is a proud to support Netball NZ so young women all over the country have more opportunities to play sports. Our ASICS sportswear collection is worn by Bailey, Storm and Shannon. Browse our women’s sports clothing to get the same comfort, fit and style. 
 
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