Rotorua sent three teams to the New Zealand Mixed Netball Championships in Auckland and they all achieved impressive results.

Earlier this month, the under-23 team was the pick of the bunch, winning their national title. A Rotorua development team was also entered in the under-23 tournament and finished fourth while the open team were runners-up in their division.

Last year, Rotorua had two sides competing at the tournament and coach Hemi McKinney says being able to enter three teams this year is reflective of the growth of men's and mixed netball in Rotorua.

"For the development team, it was their first ever mixed nationals and it was great exposure and a great experience for them."


He says the fitness of the under-23 team was the key to them winning the final against Waikato.

"They kept their cool and they played over the unit to get over the line. We did win the final by one point and they just played cool, calm netball."

On a personal level, McKinney has achievements of his own to celebrate. He has been named the New Zealand Under-23 Men's coach for the U23 Men's and Mixed International Series in Auckland in October.

His new appointment comes on the back of coaching the New Zealand under-20 team to a Trans-Tasman Series win last year. Having just watched a number of under-23 men's players in action at mixed nationals, he is excited about the talent available.

"It's actually great to watch men's and mixed netball, especially with the young talent that's coming through."

There are a number of Rotorua players in the mix to represent New Zealand in the Mixed International Series.

"We've got five men from Rotorua already confirmed in the New Zealand under-23 men's squad. Then we've got five selected for the mixed team but they have to go through a trial process. They all definitely have a good chance of making it."

McKinney says men's and mixed netball is "gaining good traction" in Rotorua.


"[Having that many players selected] is recognising that our pathways in Rotorua are definitely developing. We're getting the word out there, it's always hard trying to get players to play, especially at their own cost."