Player Welfare is a top priority for Auckland Netball with the focus on caring for our emerging players, to ensure they have a well balanced playing and training schedule to maximise opportunities and minimise injury risk. Last year Auckland Netball led the way by replacing Year 7 Representatives with a Year 7 Development Squad and by bringing on a Player Welfare Liaison service free of charge to the under 19, 17 and 15 Auckland Representatives.
Debbie Christian, Auckland Netball’s Player Welfare Liaison came on board in May 2017 and has worked with players, parents and coaches to ensure our players are not overloaded which will ultimately lead to less injuries and longer careers.
As we suspected, a common area of concern is the amount of physical loading, with some players training more than twice the hours recommended by Netball New Zealand. Being able to add up the hours has been an eye opener for many, but by being able to link all the various coaches together, positive action plans have been put in place to decrease the quantity of training and increasing the quality, which will ultimately benefit not only the athletes but the teams they are training for.
Time management has been another area that Debbie has been focusing on. Mapping out school work and assessments and recognising when they may clash with netball tournaments and late night games has been very helpful for several players who are trying to manage NCEA level 2 and Level 3.