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Sporting great takes NetGO to Caribbean

Netball New Zealand’s NetGO programme is heading over to the Caribbean with sporting great Irene van Dyk to mentor a new group of school children and teachers.

The former Silver Fern heads to Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica for two weeks to deliver Netball programmes funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It follows on from the highly successful Pacific Sporting Partnership (PSP) which was presented by van Dyk earlier this year. The PSP aims at creating more opportunities for children in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands to play sport and encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.

The New Zealand High Commissions in the Caribbean believed the programme would be a good fit and would promote Netball in the Islands as well as raising awareness of the health benefits from physical activity.

NetGO is based on the Future Ferns programme which teaches five to 10-year-olds the basics of the game and van Dyk will work with both school children and teachers.

Netball New Zealand’s Ivan Harre said the extension of the PSP into the Caribbean was another chance to continue the development of Netball on the international stage.

“It’s a great opportunity to provide a community coaching programme to the Caribbean as they don’t have the comprehensive coaching framework that New Zealand does,” he said.

“There isn’t the easy access to the coaching programmes in the Caribbean and to have someone like Irene van Dyk – one of the game’s most recognisable players – able to deliver those programmes is fantastic.”

Meanwhile, former Silver Fern Jodi Brown is also heading back to the Pacific next week to oversee the continued delivery of NetGO in Fiji.

Brown, who delivers the Future Ferns programme in Otago, will attend both the Fiji National Championships and National Primary School Championships and promote the programme.

The trip is also an opportunity for Brown to meet with the Ministry of Education in a bid to extend a trail that been running in 10 schools of a physical education programme based on the Future Ferns framework in partnership with the World Health Organisation.