Despite impending pressures of preparing for next month's Commonwealth Games, two national netball stars have made time to give back to the younger generation.

Central Pulse and Silver Fern captain Katrina Grant and teammate Ameliaranne Ekenasio visited Sacred Heart College yesterday where they spoke about what it takes to achieve at a high level.

Ekenasio talked about her experiences of trying to stay motivated, particularly in the early days when she was not getting much court time.

"The biggest thing that I have learned is that you have just got to keep working hard and even though it might seem like you yourself at the time don't get what you individually think you want or need, you have to always look at the bigger picture.


"The way I stayed motivated was because I knew for me to play my part the best I could in my team, didn't always mean that I was on court."

Her parting words were, "just keep training really hard and you just never know when someone is looking or when someone is going to open a door for you which could be the biggest opportunity in your life".

Grant shared her story of starting netball purely to follow in her older sister's footsteps - although she soon surpassed her.

She has been the captain of the Central Pulse for the past eight years and said being able to pursue her dream and captain both the Pulse and the Ferns is a "childhood dream come true and I am so lucky to be able do it and meet some amazing woman along the way."

Sacred Heart principal Maria Neville-Foster said the women's messages were very powerful and emphasised the key point that success comes from hard work and hard work is not meant to be easy.

She said the school pushed all sports, particularly netball, and believed it was valuable for the students to see two talented players in real life.

The school had three Hawke's Bay representatives in their top team last year - something which Mrs Neville-Foster said was "really good for a small school".

Sports co-ordinator Katrina Wright said it was great for their students to have that exposure.


Hawke's Bay Netball development officer Denise Aiolupotea and HBN operations manager Tina Arlidge were also at the college yesterday for the netballers' visit.

Year 13 student Madie Holmes has previously represented Hawke's Bay in the sport and is currently trialling to do so again.