A Dannevirke sports club has started an academy for young teens interested in playing netball in the hope of nurturing talent.
Michelle Mitchell is part of the Netball Centre, which decided to create the academy duing the off-season.
"Throughout the season this year, we've had a look and thought we've got a heap of talent in Dannevirke at the moment."
She said coaches were also willing to share their knowledge.
In the past, if the kids playing netball wanted to play representative, they would have to try out for Manawatu.
Mitchell said part of the reason for the academy was to ensure a team was playing for Dannevirke, with the goal of taking a team to the national Under-18s or the North island Under-14 and Under-16 championships.
"We may not get all three teams, but if we got one, that would put Dannevirke on the map," she said.
Coaches would not only help develop skills in netball but they would also teach nutrition and goal-setting - "just some of those parts of sport that they're probably not used to".
Mitchell said a lot of potential was coming through, from the primary schools and above.
"Even our local high school teams have done well in the Manawatu competition.
"We have fielded teams in the past, just to expose them to the compeititon, but there's always been girls playing for Manawatu, because they see that as the best opportunity, so it's giving them those same or better opportunities in their home town."
The academy is open to boys and girls, aged under 18 and is held at the netball courts at Dannevirke Sports Centre in Anderson St.
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