The Central Pulse will set their season in motion when they play a Taranaki invitational netball team at TSB Stadium, in New Plymouth on March 5.
An annual pre-season weekend event, the Pulse will spend time in the wider Taranaki netball community on March 4 (Saturday) ahead of the match to be played the following day.
``There is a two fold opportunity in our visit to Taranaki,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said. ``One is certainly about the team and an opportunity to play, the second is about community engagement and the opportunity to get out and about in the Taranaki region to meet fans and supporters and give a little bit back.’’
The Pulse have proved popular visitors in the past, receiving a warm and enthusiastic welcome from all participants thanks to the ongoing support of the TSB Community Trust and New Plymouth District Council (NPDC).
The Pulse will spend a full day on the Saturday out in the community in Stratford and New Plymouth where they will provide a number of workshop opportunities for local junior players, managers and coaches before the game on Sunday.
Playing against the Taranaki invitational team, which includes well-known local netball identity Jess Tuki, as well as the Pulse’s two training partners, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Kimiora Poi, both New Zealand under-21 squad members, offers the Pulse their first formalised match situation outside of training.
``We will be looking at combination work and consolidating on that,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``It’s about checking that our systems and structures are in place both on and off the court.
``We’ve had more practises than in previous years, players have had plenty of opportunities for individual and team development, there’s been a good commitment to the conditioning aspect and all the pieces that go with that, so we have definitely put the time in and have been committed to where we need to be, the challenge now will just be getting that checked off.’’
There will be plenty of opportunities for fans and supporters to meet the Pulse team in Stratford and New Plymouth as part of a weekend of netball activities.
The popular Sunday match will start at 12pm and is expected to draw a family crowd excited by the opportunity to get a first glimpse of the Pulse ahead of the season-proper.
``We’re excited to host another top-level netball game at the TSB Stadium,’’ NPDC Venues Lead, Nelita Byrne said.
``Not only does it give the community the chance to witness netball of this calibre, it also gives local players a great opportunity to front up against an ANZ Premiership team.’’
Tickets are available from the TSB Showplace Ticket Office on Devon Street and Ticketek.co.nz
A service fee applies for this option.
Photo credit: Andy Radka – Above Ground Level Photography
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