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Netball stars come to Glasgow

Written by Fiona November 25 2013

There are some Commonwealth Games sports that I am immediately attracted to and others I have not even thought about. Athletics, cycling, running, triathlon and swimming all feature on my want-to-see list, most likely because these are my own favoured sports. And then I was sent a press release about netball. I confess this sport had been relegated to “something I did at school” but now, after a bit of research and checking out some on-line videos, I reckon it might be a good sport to spectate at.

Silver_Fern_athleteThe pace of netball is fast and the games are very competitive. Netball played by the stars is nothing like the “to slow” sport I remember from school. Or maybe it was too slow because we were all a bit rubbish at it back then?!

In fact, if you want a taste of what competitive netball is like, prior to next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, there is chance this January to see New Zealand’s Silver Ferns in action against the Scottish Thistles.

If you didn’t know, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 next July will see the Silver Ferns defending their Commonwealth Games gold medal, which they won in an epic final against arch rivals Australia in Delhi in 2010.

Gold medallists warm up in Glasgow

To kick off their preparations and to acclimatise themselves with Glasgow prior to next summer’s Games 2014, the Ferns will be in the city in January to play two exhibition matches against the Scottish Thistles.

Pitted against each other in Group A of the preliminary rounds of the Commonwealth Games, the Scotland v New Zealand face-off is sure to whet the appetite of sports fans prior to the real thing.

LG6The Ferns’ coach, Waimarama Taumaunu, says of the 16-day tour to the UK: “This long-haul tour is going to be vital to our preparations going forward as it will be the last time we have together before the Commonwealth Games.”

Netball Scotland CEO Maggie Murray said: “I will pay any money to watch the top world-ranked teams play our beautiful game, and I can’t believe that we have this unprecedented opportunity to watch the world number ones, the Silver Ferns, play here on our doorstep in Scotland.

“It is my hope that our netball community will be there in their droves and get right into the ‘netball experience’ just as they did during the World Youth Championships in August.”

Netball crowds clamour for tickets

Who knew? It seems that tickets for netball at Glasgow 2014 have already sold out. In addition, last summer’s World Youth Netball Championships and a sell-out Netball Europe competition in Aberdeen in May reveal just how keen people are to watch netball live.

Olympic gold medal winner Katherine Grainger CBE, who is also the Netball Scotland Patron, explains why she thinks the sport is so popular.  She said:  “Pretty much everyone played netball at some point at school, and loads of women I know have recently gone back to it, so there’s massive interest in the sport anyway.

“In addition, the Commonwealth Games will let you see the best players in the world competing here in front of the Glasgow crowds, who always bring out the passion and pride in the athletes!”

If you didn’t manage to get tickets to the Games 29014, why not go along to The Exhibition Games, on January 12 and 14, at the new Emirates Arena?

Tickets are priced £3 for children and £6 for adults for a single game, or £5 for children and £10 for adults for both games. They are on general sale from Saturday December 23 from Glasgow Life’s Box Office. Tel: 0141 353 8000.

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