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New Zealand Secondary Schools team campaign

Building connections both on and off the court was a key takeaway from the New Zealand Secondary Schools team after they trained against an England U19 side last week.

Under the guidance of Head Coach and Netball NZ’s Youth Strategy Manager, Charissa Barham, this four day event allowed New Zealand’s up and coming the chance to work together and train under the pressures of a campaign.

The chance to play an international side was an invaluable experience for the NZSS team who were able to gain new knowledge on a different style of play, build strategies of attack and work on building connections throughout the court, all while demonstrating that New Zealand flair.

We talked to a few of the New Zealand players who took part in this week-long adventure as they reflected on this experience:

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“This week has been such an amazing and insightful experience. We were able to connect with the best players of our age group from all over the country and gain beautiful connections on and off the court. I definitely think that some lifelong friendships have been made. Overall this campaign has really helped our development as netball players and made us more determined to work hard towards our future in netball.” - Vika Koloto

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“The New Zealand Secondary Schools campaign is such a great opportunity for secondary school players to get exposed to. The memories, friendships and experiences that are gained is the most amazing factor about the campaign along with the development and exposure to another country’s style of netball. It is a fantastic achievement in which every single girl should be very proud of. It’s all about development and growth, each girl grew throughout the campaign and showed resilience and determination. Also, a massive thank you to the team that lead us and supported us immensely throughout the campaign to make it all happen, Charissa Barham, Paula Smith, Dairne Burns, Rebekah Gray-Bird, Jade Shaw and Sammie Gordon. Thank you.” – Olivia Burnham

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“The Netball New Zealand Secondary Schools campaign for 2019 has been yet another successful programme which has allowed 13 young talented women from across the country to shine. Over the past week, we have been able to form a strong bond on and off the court that has allowed us to enhance not only our netball intelligence but create friendships for life. By gaining this experience and exposure to international netball, this has given the girls a massive opportunity to perform in an environment similar to high performance athletes.” – Paris Lokotui