Academy for skills

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

A six-week net­ball academy will soon be un­der way in Porirua, run by one of the code’s best-known mid­courters.

Frances So­lia, a for­mer cap­tain of Samoa, is a mem­ber of New Zealand’s most con­sis­tent side, the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic. She lives in Welling­ton, but com­mutes to Hamil­ton to train for the trans-Tas­man competition.

Start­ing on Au­gust 6, she will per­son­ally run the Ac­cel­er­ant Net­ball Academy, based at the Kapi Mana courts.

It’s a chance to tap into the depth of net­ball tal­ent So­lia knows ex­ists in the Porirua basin.

‘‘There are academies in Welling­ton, but I saw the op­por­tu­nity to come out here and see what I can do. I have no con­nec­tions in net­ball in Porirua, but that’s go­ing to change, I’m con­fi­dent this is go­ing to work well. I know they love the game out here and I think I can give it a boost.’’

She is hopeful that next time she runs a sim­i­lar academy, maybe over sum­mer, she can use Te Rau­paraha Arena and that Cen­tral Pulse play­ers might get in­volved.

‘‘ I’m start­ing from scratch, but the feed­back I’m get­ting from schools and Kapi Mana Net­ball has been good, so far. I’ll start small and then build on it.’’

The academy will run two ses­sions a week on one day, with the girls spilt into Year 5/6 and Year 7/8. All skill lev­els will be catered for, she says. Not only will there be pass­ing, catch­ing, shoot­ing and foot­work, but get­ting health mes­sages across is im­por­tant.

‘‘ I’m help­ing to de­velop skills, sure, but I want to ad­dress health risks, like obe­sity.’’

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Net­ball fo­cus: Play­ing in the ANZ Cham­pi­onship is hugely im­por­tant for Frances So­lia, but the ex­pe­ri­enced net­baller is adding an­other string to her bow by run­ning an academy in Porirua next month.

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