Lead Coach of Netball South, Lana Morrison. Photo Jan Hawkins.

Unfortunately, due to the arrival of Omicron in our region the much-anticipated futureFERNS Festival Day, along with other pre-season plans for the Southern Steel to visit Central Otago has been cancelled.

ANZ futureFERNS is Netball New Zealand’s official junior Netball programme for Year 1-8 students.

The aim is to ignite a lifelong involvement in netball, and to that end a sequential programme has been developed that is right for the players at each level.

The emphasis is on fun and development of sound fundamental skills.

A specialist session for Years 7-13 was also planned for the day.

The Southern Steel players were also excited at the opportunity to immerse themselves in the community and provide some opportunities to kick start the 2022 netball season.

Megan Anderson, Sports Director, Cromwell College, says, “It’s a real shame that it was cancelled, as there were a lot of excited kids ready to participate.

Netball South made the call because it was not worth the risk, but they will hopefully be able to hold the event later in the season.”

Lana Morrison, Lead Coach of Netball South, was able to run a workshop at the Cromwell College Gym for facilitators, managers and coaches in the wider Central Otago region.

“She thought that it was a good idea to utilise the time frame, as people had booked to be here,” says Megan, “So coaches and managers for all age groups, and beginners through to experienced coaches, were able to benefit from the session.”

“Obviously it was disappointing for the kids not to meet the Southern Steel players, have them run through some skills and have their photos taken with the players they admire.”

The Southern Steel met the Tactix for a pre-season match in Queenstown on Monday. While COVID restrictions meant the crowd was limited to just 100 spectators, fans were able to watch the action unfold on a live steam on the Steel’s Facebook page.

Another pre-season match is planned against the Pulse on February 19 at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin.

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