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Fun5 organisers look to future

Organisers of Fun5 Beach Netball are hopeful the league will become an annual feature after the success of their inaugural season.

The social league was designed by Gisborne Netball Centre's Youth Activation Group (YAG) for all skill types and experience levels.

The group had a blank slate to design a competition they wanted and had the final call on how things would run.

The final product, Fun5, was a combination of responses from a survey they conducted on what local youth wanted to see in the league, and their own input.

The end product was a social beach league with 10 mixed-gender teams.

Games were three 10-minute periods of five-a-side played with “half-court” rules. Both teams play on a single hoop, and the defender must advance the ball to halfway after a turnover before they can score points. Attackers can also choose to go for extra points if they shoot from behind a three-point line.

The added element of a soft playing surface meant it wasn't uncommon to see sprawling dives for wayward passes and dropped balls.

Turanga Health was also on hand for the final week of the league to provide free and healthy kai to the hungry netballers.

Games were played in high spirits and a friendly environment that appealed to Gisborne Girls' High School Year 11 student Amy Adcock.

She had never played netball before, and joined the league after trying it out when the YAG was promoting the league during school lunchtimes.

“I would do it again; other people should try it,” she said.

Gisborne Netball Centre youth development officer Monique McLeod said she was proud of the effort the YAG had put in to make the league a reality.

“Regular meetings, community consultation, lots of brainstorming and decision-making . . . they got some real hands-on experience with regard to what goes into putting on an event and working as a team.”

She said 100 percent of responses in their feedback survey said they would take part in Fun5 again.

“Talking to youth over the past couple of weeks, it's become evident that everyone has enjoyed the beach format and meeting new people.

“It was awesome to see players of all levels of experience come and give it a go.”

The YAG is part of a wider national programme run by Sport New Zealand and Netball New Zealand to get more secondary school students interested in netball.

PLEASED WITH THE RESULT: Fun5 Beach Netball organisers hope the competition can become an annual feature. They are, back (from left): Alani McLeod, Dipasha Narayan, Fariha Fatema, Samara McLeod, Lily Bremner and Jacqueline Te Kani-Nankivell. Front: Rihari Campbell-Collier and Caitlyn Huhu. Picture by Jack Malcolm