Masters netballers make mischief on court
Courtside chin-wags are all part of the game for these Auckland netballers.
Liz Fitzgibbon, Jenny Woods and Lynda Dahlberg are heading to the New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin next week and have high hopes of continuing their tradition of returning home with a medal or two.
But the real reason for the getaway is to have some laughs and get up to a bit of mischief, they say.
The group is made up of netballers from the Auckland team Mullets and basketball players from masters team Orsum.
They alternate between the sports each year at the games.
Grey Lynn resident Liz Fitzgibbon, 57, has been playing basketball for 40 years and started netball a few years ago.
‘‘They are different games but have a similar skill set.
‘‘At the start it was just a weekend away from our kids – bliss!’’
Getting away for a couple of days was definitely a drawcard in the beginning, 52-year-old Jenny Woods says.
‘‘You’d look forward to it for weeks when your kids were little because it’s just so busy.
‘‘Now it’s more of a use it or lose it thing. I feel like if we can still pull out a team it’s just an endurance test at this stage.’’
Ms Woods started up with the Windmill Rd based team about 20 years ago while she was living in Sandringham.
The team has been around since the 70s and picked up its current name after a sportsman commented that ‘‘watching netball is a bit like watching mullets’’.
The Mullets are in the moderately competitive
stunned 40-plus age group at the games this year.
Lynda Dahlberg says the players’ attitude to netball has changed over the years but they still love the game.
‘‘It starts off being about the sport and fitness then it slowly becomes more about the social side and getting together.’’
New Zealand Masters Games Dunedin manager Vicki Kestila says an expected 5500 athletes will be competing, with 137 registered from Auckland.
The games are a chance for people of the ‘‘same breed’’ to get together, she says.
‘‘The concept of the games is about participation. It’s the full range. Everyone just loves the atmosphere.’’
Balling buddies: Liz Fitzgibbon, Jenny Woods and Lynda Dahlberg love catching up on the court.
Go to centralleader. co.nz and click Latest Edition to see a video of the 2013 New Zealand Masters Games.