This season has been very different from those of previous years. The arrival of COVID and the introduction of lockdown severely impacted on preparations for the season, particularly on our junior trials, and it ended up significantly impacting on all aspects of netball this year.

The INC season was significantly reduced and, at times, run with no spectators or supporters at games; tournaments were cancelled; interim local tournaments were run; and no representative opportunities were able to be offered this year!

A huge thank you must go to our coaches (both senior students and community) and managers who persevered through some challenging times. Without your commitment and effort netball at Hargest would not continue to grow, and we thank you for your significant contribution this year!

Congratulations to Venus (coach Karen Rainey) on winning their grade; and to Saturn (coach Louise Hitchcock) and Mercury (coach Aileen McNaughton) for gaining the Runners Up trophy in their grades. Because of the condensed season there were some teams who were unable to make the finals in their grade but who deserve congratulations on their final placings. Congratulations to Gold A who maintained their place in a competitive and skilled Premier grade competition. This team persevered well through several injury challenges to compete well at the top level.

Because of the COVID situation Gold, 10 and 9 A teams were able to attend a condensed Otago/Southland Secondary Schools’ tournament at the end of the season, rather than the major SISS event they would usually attend. Each team enjoyed the opportunity to challenge themselves in a tournament situation and it was a fitting way to end the season for these girls (even if level 2 meant no spectators!). Congratulations to 10A who placed 5th, Gold A 6th and 9A 12th at their respective tournaments.

Special congratulations to Ella Yule and Sarah McLeish (Gold A), Holly Cunliffe (10A) and Katie Lawrence and Sophie Hika (9A) who were named in their talented players squads from these tournaments.

Netball cannot take place without quality umpires and the talent, effort and contribution of our student umpires has been significant this year. A huge thank you to Maia Cavanagh, Elle Rogers, Gemma McAllister and Ciara Hegan who umpired at numerous school trials; Maia, Elle, Ciara and Caitlin Hartley who attended tournaments as Hargest umpires; Maia, Olivia Cooper, Gemma, Elle and Ciara who covered this year’s interschools; and to our up and coming umpires Neave Waddell, Amelia Harvey and Darika Abeysinghe who have contributed to netball at the Junior Campus.

All the very best for your future netball careers to the Year 13’s leaving us this year. Thank you for your positive contribution to school netball and remember, we would welcome you back as a coach or an official anytime!

Thank you once again to everyone who has contributed to the success of netball in the school during this disrupted and abbreviated season. Fingers crossed for a return to a “normal” season next year!

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