Shand champions men's game

Angee Shand pauses on the practice court in Auckland as the New Zealand men's team gets ready for...
Angee Shand pauses on the practice court in Auckland as the New Zealand men's team gets ready for its game against the Silver Ferns this week. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
It is a sport that has been bubbling away under the surface for many years - now men's netball is going to get some time in the sun.

Leading the charge for the men will be... a woman.

Invercargill marketing manager Angee Shand has been involved in men's netball for many years and will be sideline with the national men's team when it lines up against the Silver Ferns later this week.

The inclusion of a men's invitational team to contest the series which features the Silver Ferns, All Stars and Fiji provides a valuable opportunity for the players to showcase their talent and passion for the sport.

For Shand, whose involvement with the men's side of the code now spans more than two decades, it is a milestone to celebrate.

"For the men to have the opportunity to compete on the international stage is fantastic and testament to how netball continues to evolve," she said.

"These guys are incredibly passionate about netball and their skills are unbelievable. I'm really proud everyone will finally get to see that during the series and hopefully this will be the first of many at this elite level."

The games will be played in Auckland from tomorrow night until the finals on Saturday.

Height is a growing factor in the international game and the men's team has six players over 1.9m, including towering Auckland-born shooter Junior Levi who stands at 2.18m and fellow goal-scorer Daniel Jefferies at 2m.

Shand has worked as manager for the open and under-23 national men's teams.

"I get to work with some incredibly talented netball players, who just happen to be male. They are outstanding athletes."

The Netball South zone board member and former Southern Steel team manager has an impressive resume. Since 2008, she has dedicated nine years to the New Zealand Men's and Mixed Netball Association board.

Shand managed the Southland men's team from 1998-2016 and has been president of the association since 2015 - an organisation she played an integral part in creating.

"It's nice to be able to represent Southland on this prestigious occasion. I'll be wearing my star-shaped earrings on the bench which were a gift from the Southland men's team and also symbolise my club team, the All Stars.

The St Mary's club life member is often recruited as a statistician for Sky Sport's ANZ Premiership coverage.

 

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