Six of the Western region's top club teams will converge on Arena Manawatu to kick start the inaugural Super League competition on Sunday.
Teams from Horowhenua, Manawatu, Taranaki and Whanganui will meet in an exciting new tournament which will include the top teams from each centre's 2011 premier league facing each other in an inter-centre, inter-club competition.
The games will take place over three weekends in Palmerston North, Whanganui and Hawera.
The concept is one used in other regions both nationally and internationally. A similar event existed many years ago under a different guise, and veterans of that programme were keen to see the return of a tournament which will test the elite teams outside of their own domains.
A bonus for the region is the collaborative relationship that has emerged between the netball Centres – the tournament is managed by the centres independently, with Western Netball in support.
The tournament is seen as a valuable development opportunity for young players. Western selectors will be using the games to observe players in anticipation of talent development selections.
Coaches now have a chance to see players in action well before representative trials, and senior players will welcome the games as a good warm-up to the upcoming season.
This year's event will be a trial, and if successful the organisers hope to make it an annual feature.
Competing teams: The Assassins (Horowhenua), Feilding A1 (Manawatu), Inglewood (Taranaki), New Plymouth Old Boys (Taranaki), Tu Toa (Manawatu), Wanganui High School A1 (Wanganui)
The Super League programme: Sunday, B & M Centre, Palmerston North; Sunday March 25, Springvale Stadium, Wanganui; Sunday April, 1 TSB Hub, Hawera.
Games start at 11am and entry is free.
- The Manawatu Standard