Net gain as national players impart skills

Young players learning new skills at the clinic held by Singapore's netballers at the OCBC Arena yesterday.
Young players learning new skills at the clinic held by Singapore's netballers at the OCBC Arena yesterday. ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

Singapore's netballers may have clinched the coveted SEA Games gold in June on home soil, but their mission is not over yet.

Yesterday, the team held a clinic at the OCBC Arena to help inspire young players and impart new skills.

The clinic involved 46 students from four schools - Coral Secondary, Regent Secondary, Raffles Girls' and the Singapore Sports School.

It also featured a full squad of 11 national players and nine former internationals plus the national age-group teams.

It was the first time a clinic featuring the full national squad was held and Netball Singapore's chief executive officer Cyrus Medora said: "Normally we do a clinic with only three to four players, but this time, we decided to have the entire squad to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Nations Cup."

The Dec 13-19 Nations Cup will feature six countries.

The idea was lauded by former national captain Pearline Chan, who said: "It's a good initiative.

"It's always good to look at kids and help them with basic skills and share our experiences with them."

The clinic, which lasted 21/2 hours, saw the students divided into four groups based on the positions they play. They underwent drills taught by the national players and also played friendly matches.

"It's really great to see the younger generation here, showing their enthusiasm. They're really very open to our feedback," said national player Nurul Baizura.

Rafflesian Nicole Lee, 15, said: "I benefited a lot from the players as they gave us advice such as how to defend against opponents and that is really applicable to the game."

Added 13-year old Sports School student Misha Rajendran: "I can use the strategies and tactics that I learnt today and work on them to help me expand my knowledge and apply it on court."

The clinic ended with an exhibition match between local legends and the national team.

"It's an honour to play against them because I grew up with them," said Nurul. "They were the best in their time and, despite not playing netball for quite some time, they still have it. I learnt not to be complacent but to always try my best."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2015, with the headline 'Net gain as national players impart skills'. Print Edition | Subscribe