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Why More Men Need To Play Netball

Why More Men Need To Play Netball
January 21
09:23 2015

The test match between the Fiji Pearls and the Silver Ferns played exactly according to script.

Our team shot out of the blocks determined to make a good impression.

The Silver Ferns lumbered along, adjusting to the heat, but gradually piling up the points. Like boxing matches, the smaller competitor is usually quicker, but a succession of heavy blows to the head slows him down.

By half time, the Pearls, despite their heart, had all their ammunition spent.  The final score 81-28 says a lot. Both teams are on separate planets.

Like the All Blacks, we have little to compete with in terms of infrastructure, corporate sponsorship and player numbers. This calls for some lateral thinking.  How do we optimise the resources we have?

Men’s and mixed netball

The men’s and mixed netball game is on the rise in Australia and New Zealand. Largely self-funded, the games still manage to attract a lot of ‘regular guys’ look for the benefits of cross-training.

Let’s face it, netball is actually a lot more strenuous than it looks.

Everyone who’s looking for a bit of exercise without having his knees jarred by basketball, his jaws by boxing and his neck twisted  by rugby might give it some serious thought.

Netball could be a serious option for cross-training for serious athletes, or at least for health advocates.

In New Zealand and Australia, guys who have been tired of accompanying their girlfriends to the netball courts have taken up the game to avoid boredom.

Yes, love does some strange things, indeed. Trying to convince the Fijian Ministry of Education to offer netball as a cross-training option for guys should be considered.

The ultimate aim would be to create a pool of male players that offers some serious competition albeit training partners for our national team.

A few years ago, mixed netball teams used to train with our national team.

Whether they improved the performance of our national representatives wasn’t really clear. This time around, we suggest a more structured approach.

No offence meant

We mean no offence to advocates for the women’s game in the country.  Women have been doing great in so many fields under their own steam. We certainly don’t advocate male training partners for female boxing or for women’s rugby.

However, having  a structure that allows men to pit their skills against our top netballers should be encouraged. It will certainly create a lot of interest.

The Silver Ferns have a losing streak against the Australian Diamonds for a good reason.

The Australians are faster, more physical and execute their game plans to perfection.

Are we insinuating the Diamonds play like ‘regular guys’? Certainly not.

But having guys (fit and skilled, not the run-of-the-mill couch potatoe type) play regularly against our top netballers might prove to be a win-win situation.

The Pearls are an awesome team. We support them all the way.

However, bring teams like the Silver Ferns regularly to Fiji might not be realistic.

There’s always the next best option. Guys, anyone for netball?

Feedback:  josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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