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New faces in Pathway to Podium Programme

Netball New Zealand has named the 2018-2019 Pathway to Podium Programme with an eye on their defence of the Netball World Youth Cup crown in 2021.

A squad of 18 athletes have been announced for the Pathway to Podium (P2P) programme which is aimed at providing support and guidance in areas such as Nutrition, Athlete Life, Strength and Conditioning and Psychology.

Members of the Emerging Talent Selection Panel, which include Lee-Anne Clark, Mary-Jane Araroa, Charissa Barham, Jen Hooper, Nic Jones and Paula Smith, have been present at a number of tournaments and camps to complete the selection process throughout the last 12 months.

Convenor of Selectors Lee-Anne Clark said the emphasis on selection was with the Netball World Youth Cup in 2021 in mind.

“It has been exciting to get a good gauge on the talent that is emerging and then offer those athletes the support and guidance they need to take the next step. Its important to note that some incumbent athletes were not given a second year in the program as they have already advanced to the next level and have the support in place required to see them progress,” she said.

“It has been a thorough selection process and as we look ahead to the Netball World Youth Cup there has been careful consideration to retaining incumbent athletes who do not qualify for this event.”

Of the 18 athletes named, three are not eligible for the Netball World Youth Cup including Northern’s Lahaina-Lee Upu Toparae and Tamara Leoni as well as Waikato-BOP’s Lisa Mather.

“We believe they have the potential to progress to our Silver Fern Development Squad in the future and would benefit hugely from the support this programme offers now,” Clark said.

The selected P2P athletes includes six athletes who have been retained from the previous P2P programme and 12 newcomers. P2P is a nationwide programme led by HPSNZ in partnership with National Sports Organisations (NSOs). The Netball New Zealand program is designed to complement and extend players development within their zone, through additional support delivered at the six HPSNZ National Training Centres, cross sport workshops and two netball specific training camps.

Name/Zone

*Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toparea – Northern

Ashleigh Garner – Northern

Bianca Nagaiya – Northern

Greer Sinclair – Northern

Theresa Ngata – Northern

*Tamara Leoni – Northern

Ainsleyana Puleiata – Central

Renee Savai’inaea – Central

Saviour Tui – Central

Madeline Gordon – Central

Paris Lokotui – Central

Braxton Te Riini – Central

Salote-Alison Taufa – Central

Taneisha Fifita – South

Jess Allan – South

Khiarna Williams –WaiBOP

Emily Ussher –WaiBOP

*Lisa Mather – WaiBOP

*indicates not eligible for Netball World Youth Cup 2021