Pulse stars prove hit with youngsters
There were only supposed to be three players coming, but five of the Central Pulse netball squad turned up at Donnelly Park at the weekend to host a skills session with junior players.
Pulse stars Tiana Metuarau, Aliyah Dunn, Paris Lokotui, Binian Hunt and Courtney Elliott took time out to hold the session ahead of their match with Northern Stars at Arena Manawatu¯ the following day.
The players held skill sessions for more than an hour before holding a question-and-answer session, where the youngsters were encouraged to ask them anything.
The players were asked if they had any pets, and what their favourite animal was, what time they woke up in the morning, and what their favourite colour was.
Each player was also asked how old they were, and how tall they were, how hard they trained and what type of foods they ate, and they all obliged with honest answers.
One key piece of advice came from Metuarau, which was to play as many different sports as you could, especially when you are young.
While netball was her game now, it was important not to focus on just one sport and to broaden your horizons by playing different sports and having different pursuits in life.
The training session finished with the players handing out free passes to their match the following day.
Those that went were treated to an exciting match, with Central Pulse losing 47-46 to Northern Stars, with the lead changing twice in the final quarter. It was the fourth match in 12 days for Central Pulse.
Despite losing the game, the Pulse team now sit on the top of the ANZ Premiership with the bonus-point loss enough to see them overtake Northern Mystics.
The team were performing well again under coach Yvette McCausland-Durie, who returned as be head coach of the Pulse this year.
She had guided the Pulse to four straight competition finals — including a championship title win in 2019, backed up by another title in 2020 — before calling time in 2021.
This season had also seen Metuarau return to the Pulse, the team she started her career with as a 16-year-old schoolgirl in 2017.
Last season Metuarau, 20, played for Southern Steel.
Meanwhile, Netball Horowhenua president Robyn Wills said it was a coup to have the Central Pulse players visit and those youngsters that turned up would have learnt a great deal from the experience, with junior competitions due to start in the coming weeks.
“It was fantastic,” she said.