‘Netties’ form a life long passion

Jenny O’Boyle, Amy Dickey, Cheryl Stuart, Elaisa Chapman, Kali MacDonald, Toni Monk; front row:...
Jenny O’Boyle, Amy Dickey, Cheryl Stuart, Elaisa Chapman, Kali MacDonald, Toni Monk; front row: Dee Copeland, Maree Piebenga, Kim Clearwater, Marijke Topping, Janeen Savory at the Edgar Centre on Saturday. The team comes from Central Otago and Invercargill. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Netball continues to be one of the most popular sports at the Masters Games.

About 500 women were in Dunedin over the weekend to play netball at the Edgar Centre.Among them were former Silver Fern shooter Jo Morrison, former Sting player Kylie Young and Netball South chief executive Lana Winders.

Winders said playing netball was a lifelong commitment.

"Once a ‘nettie’, always a ‘nettie’," she said.

Games ambassador Jodi Brown, a former Silver Fern, said it was proof that once involved in netball you will always be involved, netball provides a lot of opportunities and lifelong friendshipsWinders likened the pull of netball to childbirth.

"I think it is a little like having a baby. You feel the pain of labour at the time and then forget about it and decide to go back again.

"Plus, netball is populated by diehard woman who after months and years of coaching and umpiring and managing school and club teams or following the Steel, decide it is time to have their fun on the court. It hasn’t anything to do with the compulsory shots of port at half-time!"

Morrison, said it was a great great opportunity to spend time with friends, play the game I love and have some laughs.

"It’s very social you get to catch up with friends that are lifelong. It’s very well run and you can play at your level."

There are players in their 70s.

Winders said the bonds of friendship are everything.

"Twenty years of coming to Masters you build up a bond not only with your team, but the woman in other teams. I think we all recognise the wannabe Steel glints in each other’s eyes.

"I had my 50th birthday a while back. It was a three-day epic with a netball game thrown in the middle. My 81-year-old mother-in-law threw off and I played with my two daughters. Three generations on the court. Just a sample of the countless golden memories of netball happiness."

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