Silver Ferns Not Inspiring A Love Of The Game
The Silver Ferns aren’t having the best time of it on the international netball stage. This may not be the only reason for the ever-dwindling interest in the sport across the country, but it’s safe to say that it isn’t helping either. Netball enjoys the privilege of being the second largest team participation sport in New Zealand, second only to rugby.
Despite the impressive statistics, interest in the sport is isn’t what it used to be and Auckland seems to be hardest hit. No wonder really, considering that more than 40% of Auckland residents were born somewhere other than in New Zealand.
Netball New Zealand chief Jennie Wyllie believes this to be a huge contributing factor, with 40% of Auckland’s population not having grown up with a love for traditional sports like rugby and netball. The gender pay gap and the fact that netball is still, despite its general standing in the country, classified as a semi-professional sport in New Zealand, is definitely also to blame for the troublesome decline.
With the Commonwealth Games a mere two months away, Netball New Zealand will have to come up with a plan as good as gold to re-capture the nation’s hearts for the sport.
2023 World Cup A Silver Lining
Speaking of a plan as good as gold, Netball New Zealand has announced that the country is bidding for the hosting rights for the 2023 Netball World Cup.
A formal bid will be brought before the International Netball Federation in June of this year, with the proposed pitch centred around Netball New Zealand celebrating its centenary year in 2023. The centenary celebration is seen not only as a magnificent milestone but also as an opportunity to inspire a new generation of netballers, something which is desperately needed in the sport at the moment.
Speaking to the press, Wyllie said that what was done in the here and the now would ultimately become a legacy for the future of Netball and that hosting the World Cup was the best way of keeping the eye on the prize and looking forward to the future.
The decision regarding the host country may very well come down to who is best able to fund an event like the World Cup. It is not yet known which other countries have shown interest in hosting the event and the winning bid is expected to be announced by the end of 2018.
New Zealand last hosted the Netball World Cup in 2007.
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