Fijian girls learn from star netball shooter

NETBALL’S most capped international player of all time, Irene van Dyk, is in the country to promote the NetGo program which is targeting development at the grassroots level.

Van Dyk has been conducting coaching clinics and shooting skills drills in Suva since arrivng in Fiji this week.

She has also been training school teachers about netball grassroots development.

The former South Africa and Silver Ferns rep said the NetGo program in New Zealand was amazing.

“I will hold a netball workshop with some of the teachers, so it can be incorporated into the school curriculum,” she said.

“We are running a pilot program to see if it is going to be amazing for kids and give them resources as we go along.

“The program has been amazing in New Zealand because it is so different and you have to actually get the people to understand what it does and how it works.

“You get your traditionalists seven a-side netball. But this is more for smaller kids where you have less people on the court and they pass more, shoot more and run more. So getting the people to understand what the game looks like and get them to buy into it.

“It will definitely help netball but this is for the younger kids. So it will take time for them to get to the top end.

“But once we get the teachers to buy into it and actually run it as the program, you know they will do it week in and week out, by the time they get to 14, 15 years old they will have skills that anyone can just dream off.”

The South African-born shooter earned 145 caps for New Zealand and also played 72 matches for South Africa.

Van Dyk said the 2018 Commonwealth Games would be interesting.

“After the Constellation Cup I think anything is possible at the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

“England has improved incredibly. Australia has played amazingly. New Zealand has played great netball and South Africa has picked up as well. If you look at the Fast5 where did Jamaica come from, so it could go either way.

“It will naturally come down to who is playing the game on the day. It is going to be amazing.”

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