Blenheim's netball team needs a court
While not a renowned sporting location, the community of Blenheim, in Hanover, holds its netball team, which has been around for over a decade, in high esteem.
The team is a source of much pride for the rural district, where National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante was born.
The women of the community, both old and young, see the netball team as a pillar of strength as it generates significant community involvement and participation in friendly competitions, which help to promote harmony and togetherness.
However, while netball remains a source of pride to the community, there is nonetheless a dark cloud hanging over the sport, as despite being around for so many years, the team is somewhat frustrated by the fact that they are unable to realise their long-held dream of having a court in the community.
"Netball is a thriving sport here in Blenheim and the girls in the community are happy to be part of the sport, but we have been struggling without a proper court," said Opal Griffiths, a senior member of the team.
According to Griffiths, the team currently plays on an unbalanced grassy field that is far from ideal. She believes that if the location could be developed, it would be a perfect spot for a netball court.
"We try to do a little thing here on the field, like we pay to cut the grass so we can play on it, but we don't have the help or anything to do anything major," said Griffiths, who would welcome some much-needed assistance from corporate Hanover. "If we could get some help with material, we could level off the field, and a get some cement and two tyres where we could a put in the ring posts properly."
According to Griffiths, the team is currently seeking sponsorship to help grow the game in Blenheim and surrounding communities. Their primary need at this time is playing gear and equipment.
"If we could get some sponsorship, where we can go out and play other teams and participate in competitions, at the end of the day, we could look forward to winning medals and prizes for the community," continued Griffiths. "It would also be a great way for the team to gain experience."
"We recently completed a successful community competition and we hope to stage a bigger one in the coming year. We just need some support so we can invite other teams to come in and play," added Griffiths