Netballers rub shoulders with one of the greats

By Christine McKay

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Former Silver Fern Irene Van Dyk signs a poster for Jade Lawson, 6, last Sunday morning in the Sports Centre during the tournament.
Former Silver Fern Irene Van Dyk signs a poster for Jade Lawson, 6, last Sunday morning in the Sports Centre during the tournament.

Sunday's Viking netball tournament in Dannevirke has been described by visiting teams as "one of the best".

With 18 teams taking part, the Dannevirke Netball Centre was congratulated on how well-organised the event had been, centre administrator Michelle Treacy said.

"We hope to keep this as an annual tournament and, having former Silver Fern Irene van Dyk here in her role as Netball Central Zone's new junior development officer, was wonderful. She was exceptional on the day, mingling with our teams and giving them tips on game play."

Year 7 netballer, goal attack Paton Paewai, left, secures the ball in the wet conditions, playing Hutt Valley in the Viking tournament.
Year 7 netballer, goal attack Paton Paewai, left, secures the ball in the wet conditions, playing Hutt Valley in the Viking tournament.

Kelly Gillard, the co-ordinator of the Future Ferns in Dannevirke, also received a special mention for the hard work she has put into developing an awesome fundamental programme, Treacy said.

Van Dyk told the Dannevirke News she wasn't missing playing national and international netball.

"Although I'm still coming to terms with retirement, I get my fix by playing club netball on Saturday," she said.

Van Dyk, who is responsible for junior development from Wellington to New Plymouth, said she thought the Future Ferns was an amazing initiative.

"These little ones don't know the game, but it grows with them. Skills-wise they get it earlier because of the input from the likes of Kelly (Gillard)."

Viking tournament results:

Year 8 winners: Hutt Valley Gold; runners up, Manawatu; Kapi Mana 3.
Year 7 winners: Whanganui; runners up, Hutt Valley Gold; Hutt Valley Green 3.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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