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New website provides access to NetballSmart programme

A new netball website aimed at improving performance and reducing injuries has been launched by NetballSmart, the Netball New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy supported by ACC.

Former Silver Ferns physio Sharon Kearney is behind the world leading injury prevention programme which can now be accessed at www.netballnz.co.nz

Kearney said she was excited that the NetballSmart programme would be able to be easily accessed by many.

She said Netball’s most injured players were in the 10-14 year-old age bracket while the most significant injuries were seen from 15-19 year-olds and it was important to be able to reach those groups with information they could use now at home and new resources the netball community can use as New Zealand transitions out of lockdown.

“We want to improve player wellbeing and welfare, improve physical performance while also looking at decreasing serious injuries across all levels,” she said.

“The website allows us to connect with those looking for the resources and strategies to focus on performance enhancement and injury prevention - something they can do from home.”

Kearney, who was the Silver Ferns physiotherapist from 1993 to 1995 and again from 2002 to 2015, is the NetballSmart Programme Manager and has helped deliver it around the country.

ACC has been the leading contributor to the NetballSmart programme which is based on six principles including Smart Player Wellbeing/Welfare, Smart Movement, Smart Training, Smart Preparation, Dynamic Warm-Up, cool down and recovery, and Smart Injury Management.

NetballSmart is embedded into the sport, is part of the NNZ coaching programme and is well known by many of New Zealand’s elite athletes.

The NetballSmart Dynamic Warm-Up (NSDWU), a key component of the NetballSmart programme is used to ‘warm’ the player up, prepare the player for the dynamic movement skills of the game, improve movement performance and decrease injury risk.

But the programme extends beyond a warm-up with other resources including landing skills, body weight and core strengthening programmes along with educational resources for parents and players.

Northern Mystics midcourter Tayla Earle said NetballSmart was an invaluable tool for an athlete at any level.

“Netball is a very physical demanding sport,” the ANZ Premiership player said.

“You have to stop suddenly, change direction suddenly and you have to be able to get in the air and land really strongly. Preparing your body to do this, to minimise injury risk, is really important.”

Former Silver Fern Sandra Edge agreed and said the NetballSmart programme was also about performance enhancement.

“If the player can handle the physical demands they can explore the game,” she said.

The NetballSmart website is live now and can be found at www.netballsmart.co.nz