Time for male netballers to showcase their skills at ILT Stadium Southland

Angee Shand is busy organising the New Zealand Men's Netball Championships at ILT Stadium Southland on Septebmer 13-16.
Jamie Searle

Angee Shand is busy organising the New Zealand Men's Netball Championships at ILT Stadium Southland on Septebmer 13-16.

It's now the men's turn.

ILT Stadium Southland has played hosted ANZ Championship finals and international tests this year and now it is time for the country's top male netballers to showcase their skills in Invercargill.

The stadium will this week host the New Zealand Men's Netball Championships for the first time. 

Southland Men's Netball has attracted the 33rd annual tournament to Invercargill and it will feature 18 teams, including three from Australia.

READ MORE: Invercargill hosting men's netball champs 

Organiser Angee Shand believed spectators would be treated to netball like they've never seen before.

"It's exciting, it's aerial … they're going to see an amazing standard and quality of netball," she said.

"I think our netball community will really embrace and relish the opportunity to see the game like they haven't seen before."

The trio of Australian teams – Australian Reserve, Under-20 and Under-17 – adds another element to the tournament.

"The Australians use this tournament to develop their teams because they recognise this is a really strong competition. It's also a fantastic gauge to see how we're going and how we stack up in comparison," Shand said.

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Of the New Zealand teams, defending champion North Harbour is seeking its fourth consecutive title, while Christchurch boasts 18 previous titles to its credit and remains the most significant threat.

Southland has two teams competing, with Natalie Avellino at the helm of Southland A and Tina Frew coaching Southland B.

All teams would experience true Southern hospitality during the four-day tournament, including a personal liaison tasked with providing baking and cheering them on at their respective games.

"We're putting in place all the personal touches Southland is renowned for. We really want to give them a genuine and beautiful Southland experience," Shand said.

"It's old-fashioned hospitality but it's all about the people in Southland and that's what we want to convey."

Shand believed visiting teams would be in awe of ILT Stadium Southland.

"This is a great opportunity to show Invercargill has world-class facilities and that's something we take for granted," she said.

"The Southern Steel set the standard when it comes to running events down here so there's a reputation we need to uphold and that's what we're aiming to do.

"The players, coaches, managers and their support teams are all incredibly excited to come to Invercargill so it's going to be a fantastic tournament."

Play commences at 9.30am on Wednesday with finals scheduled from 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon.

Entry is free for spectators.

 - Stuff

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