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New Role to Boost Talented Netballers
6 June 2017
New Role to Boost Talented Netballers

NEW ROLE: Anneke Hepi is the new Kawerau netball development officer. Photo Louis Klaassen 

A NEW focus on Kawerau’s raw netball talent has been established.

Waikato Bay of Plenty netball have appointed Kawerau born-and-bred Anneke Hepi as the new development officer for the area. The newly established role will give the young players of Kawerau a resource to utilise in their quest on the court.

Hepi ran around the same courts in the heart of Kawerau as a youngster and is excited about the new challenge ahead.

“I have been here my whole life. I have been involved in netball for 10 years through Eastern Bay and schools in Kawerau. To be able to step into a role like this is of huge importance to me. Now I can focus on the whole of Kawerau netball development, not just one school or team. It means more of our kids are able to benefit.”

After coaching and managing teams, also in other codes, and having also been a school sports co-ordinator in Kawerau, Hepi said she was looking forward to the discovery of players.

“This town is full of raw talent – they are amazing. To be able to provide a pathway to upskill umpires, coaches and players is going be huge for the talent in this town. There are around 150 junior players.

“It is always really rewarding to be able to give back to the kids and see them develop and go through the stages.”

As well as using the structures in place through netball’s regional and national bodies, the resources closer to home would also be important.

“The role is about educating our whanau and empowering them with the knowledge that they can come on board as volunteers and help develop our kids.

“Our whanau are amazing, they love to be involved in and support what the children are doing.

That behind-the-scenes support at grassroots is amazing. Without whanau we wouldn’t have so much talent.”

In a statement about the appointment, Waikato Bay of Plenty Netball officials said the role of development officers is key across the Waikato Bay of Plenty zone to build young netballers’ skills and ensure players are provided with pathways to high performance sport, while encouraging fun and active lifestyles, and injury free netball.

Hepi also said it was important for young players to look up to those in representative teams. The Waikato Bay of Plenty team have a shot at making the Beko League final, the level under the ANZ Premiership, in two weeks. If they can beat undefeated Central next week and Mainland lose to Northern Comets, Waikato Bay will play Central in the final on June 18.

The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, which includes Whakatane’s Monica Falkner, are second in the ANZ premiership and take on the Pulse in Palmerston North on Monday.

Source: Whakatane Beacon NZ

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