Academy for skills
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.’’
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.