Winning the local netball competition isn’t the be-all and end-all for one of Queenstown’s top teams.
Pub on Wharf’s Sarah Russell
Chico’s/ABL players, whose average age is 38, love playing for enjoyment but get a greater kick out of coaching young local squads.
Not that they’re relaxed about this Saturday’s final against rivals Pub on Wharf at the Events Centre in Frankton – they’re still determined to become premier champions for a third year in a row.
“We’re looking forward to it,” coach and wing attack Kay McLeod, 41, says, adding: “We’re hoping Pub on Wharf have put their best out there already. But it’s never the way in finals – it’ll be a completely different game. All our girls will still get nervous beforehand.”
Most of the Chico’s/ABL team are heavily involved in junior netball, coaching school and representatives teams from Year 5 to senior high school level. Two players are also New Zealand B umpires.
The women – who show no sign of quitting – believe it’s important to give back to the netball community, McLeod says.
“We might be there winning the competition, but it’s not just about that, we’re also there developing these younger players.
“With the kids, you’re giving them something, you can see them learning.”
Pub on Wharf’s Sarah Russell says her team knows they’re the underdogs this Saturday but that gives them more motivation to win: “We’ll be playing hard right to the end.”
Senior A – Cougar Security v Harcourts, 12.30pm; Senior B – WHS Yr9A v WHS Blue, 1.30pm; Premier – Chico’s/ABL v Pub on Wharf, 2.30pm
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