Netball Samoa has proven once again that practice does make perfect.
With the recent conclusions of the Netball Samoa Academy which began early this year; the improvements of the girls who took part have been significant.
With the launch of their Anchor Secondary school tournament on Saturday, the netball Samoa Management Team can finally see the fruits of their labor from their academy programme.
Ruta Schwalger of Netball Samoa spoke to the Samoa Observer yesterday on how the tournament plays a fundamental role in seeing where their academy students stand in terms of skills and leadership.
“The tournament that started today is the Anchor Secondary school’s competition,” she said.
“The tournament involves a couple of the high schools around the Apia area; the initial competition games begin today.
“For me personally, I am looking at the girls who attended our academy programmes if they have improved their basic skills and whether they have picked up leadership qualities as well.
“About half of the girls here have attended the academy at some stage and the other half are just girls from their schools.
“So each school has about three girls from the academy.”
The competition which will spread over eight weeks will follow the normal competition format which Ms. Schwalger feels will help bring a competitive edge for their girls.
“The girls are just playing through the normal competition format where they we will see who makes it through to the championship rounds,” she said.
“There will be a prize-giving ceremony at the end of the tournament which will be in about 7 week’s time.
“I cannot stress enough how important tournament like these are for the development of the girls netball skills.
“It teaches the girls the game setting, gives a little competitiveness and it also teaches a few leadership qualities for the girls.
“With the academy that we ran earlier this year, we just taught the girls the basic skills and competitions like these allow them to apply what they have learnt.”
According to Ms. Schwalger, she has noticed a significant difference between the girls who attended the academy and those who did not.
“I’m pretty happy with what I’m seeing with the girl’s performances,” she said.
“They are pretty supportive not only towards their teammates but also towards the oppositions but at the same time they are out to win it.
“Also from what I’ve seen so far, the girls from the academy have definitely picked up on their basic skills such as their catching, passing and body balance.
“With the girls that did not attend the academy, they are making slight errors such as contact which is something that can be fixed through our academy programmes.
“I’m really excited to see what these girls will be putting out in the next seven weeks.”
The competition runs every Saturday at the Tuanaimato Gym 3.