Team building in different environment for Otago players

Rob Walter.
Rob Walter.
The Otago Volts have headed to the mountains and done some team building as the time to start wearing  whites looms.

All 15 contracted players, plus Black Caps Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham, have just returned from a four-day camp at Tititea Lodge, in the Matukituki Valley on the outskirts of Mt Aspiring National Park.

The side spent the time team building and doing various tasks set by team management.

That included an eight-hour tramp on the Rob Roy glacier track and an eight-hour rogaining challenge.

Otago coach Rob Walter said the side had done a team trip on the Otago Central Rail Trail before last season for team building and wanted to do something slightly different this year but still help develop team spirit.

The lodge had no internet or cellphone coverage so it was a chance for all the players to get to know each other.

"It was an outstanding few days. The weather was kind to us and we saw some amazing landscapes which helped us appreciate the great beauty we have in the South," Walter said.

He said the players got to know each other better and enjoyed the time together in what was a different environment for most.

He said team building was important as the game was not all about batting, bowling and fielding.

"We do plenty of that to build our skills throughout the year. We do lots of batting and bowling practice.

"But at the end of the day it is a team game. One of the positives we can get from this camp is no one person had the responsibility for the team to get the team across the line. It is everyone’s responsibility.

"We are practising our skills a lot of the time but the team element — it is vital we spend time on that element."

The side will continue training in Dunedin next week and will then head to Alexandra for a week-long training camp, starting on October 2.

New signing Rob Nicol is recovering from an Achilles operation and Walter said he was making good progress.

The side will have a four-day warm-up game against Canterbury in Alexandra starting on October 10.

The team’s opening game in the Plunket Shield is also against Canterbury in Christchurch, starting on October 23.

The only Otago player not at the camp was Neil Wagner, but the left-armer had a good reason to  be absent.

Wagner has been playing for Essex in the English County Championship and this week helped the team  win the County Championship for the first time in 25 years.

Wagner played for Essex in the first half of the season and then returned to the county late in the season to cover for Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir, who returned to Pakistan for the birth of his child.

Essex went unbeaten in the league and Wagner has played nine matches, taking 25 wickets.

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