Palmerston North to host season-opening Super Sunday
It will be the shortest trip of the season for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie when the 2018 ANZ Premiership netball competition gets under way in Palmerston North on May 6.
McCausland-Durie is delighted the season-opener which highlights the first of three Super Sundays – where all six teams are in action on the same day at the same venue – will kick off in her home town.
Having hosted the largest crowd across this year’s regular season, between the Pulse and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Palmerston North is well-placed to attract bumper support for next year’s opening spectacle.
``Manawatu have always been massively supportive of netball and have grown a lot of great players over the years,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``We got a full crowd at our home game there this year, they’re knowledgeable and I’m sure they’ll come out again in numbers for the Super Sunday season-opener.
``For me, the great thing is I won’t have to travel very far. It’s important that different regions from within the netball community get these opportunities. A number of people travel religiously to come and support the Pulse in Wellington and to be able to take games to them is all part of the goodwill and growth of the game while adding value to the product that you have in your zone.’’
The Northern Mystics and Southern Steel will launch the new season, closely followed by the Pulse and Magic while the Northern Stars and Mainland Tactix conclude the opening round.
The Pulse and Steel are set for a double-header weekend when they clash at the same Central Energy Trust Arena venue on May 7.
Fresh from the Commonwealth Games, the Silver Ferns will have only been back with their franchises for a week before the season gets under way, adding to the attraction and intrigue of how they slot back into their domestic teams.
Having hosted numerous Silver Ferns tests, Mayor Grant Smith has no doubts Palmerston North will provide an equally-popular Super Sunday event.
``Palmerston North’s always been a netball city and it should be no different in what will be an exciting start to the 2018 ANZ Premiership and as a city we’re looking forward to hosting it,’’ he said.
``Our central location means you draw on the best part of a million people in the lower North Island and being a netball-mad area, I would be surprised if we don’t sell it out. We’d certainly expect a really good crowd attendance for all of the four games that kick off the 2018 season.’’
Netball Central is excited by the prospect of presenting the first four games of the new season within its zone, Super Sunday having the added attraction of being Mother’s Day.
``We are delighted with this opportunity and that Palmerston North will play host to an exciting weekend of showcasing the cream of netballing talent in the country,’’ CEO Carolyn Young said.
``We have had tremendous support from Mayor Grant Smith and look forward to further engaging with the local and wider community to make this a memorable occasion.’’
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