Stamina as vital as skill for Stars

By Iain Hyndman

The social grades of the New Zealand Masters Games is just as much about stamina as are the more competitive sports on offer in Wanganui this week.

The Western Stars social indoor netball team has trained specifically in the lead up to this year's games to achieve the level of stamina required to make a mark on and off-court.

Team captain Amanda Wilson said many of the eight-strong team were regulars in the local Wanganui social league playing at Springvale Stadium on Monday and Tuesday nights, although not necessarily for the same sides.

"For most of us it's our first New Zealand Masters, but many of us play in the local social league, but not all in the same team.

"I think our average age is only about 31 or 32 and the games cut-off age for this event is 30, so we're newcomers, really," Wilson said.

The Western Stars started strongly yesterday winning the first two of four games convincingly, but Wilson warned the third of the four would possibly be the toughest.

"It's a long day playing four 40-minute games and I think the third of the four will be the toughest."

Teammate Hollie McPhun said her dad Kerry, a longtime gamesman, had given her a bit of sage advice leading up to her first games. "Don't peak too early."

The advice applied to both on and off-court activities.

While it was purely a social grade, the Western Stars, like other sides in the competition, were going for gold.

"We're certainly aiming for gold. Well, that's the aim anyway," Wilson said.

And the Western Stars were the only team that went through unbeaten in all four games yesterday. As long as the stamina survived the tent session last night they will be well on their way to medal contention today.

The only thing in their way is the two matches they play this morning to make the semifinal and final this afternoon.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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