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Walking netball launches at Arvida communities

Walking netball launches at Arvida communities

Residents of Arvida’s Park Lane and Waimea Plains communities are keeping fit with walking netball, a sports trend that’s really taken off in Aotearoa.

Walking netball is just like regular netball, except that one foot must be on the ground at all times. This slows the pace of the game and makes it easier to include players of all fitness and ability levels.

Waimea Plains were first to form a walking netball team. They’ve been playing games regularly at Richmond’s Saxton Field indoor court since July. Their distinctive uniform features a tutu in Arvida orange, which expresses just how much fun they have during a game.

While heading back to Waimea Plains after a game, Pauline Carson (one of the players) suggested a walking netball tournament with Arvida’s Park Lane community in Christchurch. The idea was pitched and Park Lane agreed enthusiastically.

Jill Brown and Clare Lee, residents of Park Lane, were excited to dust off their netball skills and organise a team.

“I played netball at school, but hadn’t played since I was about 15,” says Jill. “It was the challenge from the ladies at Waimea Plains that got us going. I asked around Park Lane and gathered 18 names. There are only around a hundred residents here, so that was an excellent response. We settled for a team of 12, so we’d have some spare players.”

Park Lane’s team includes several men who’d never played netball before, but they soon got the hang of it during practices at Hagley Netball Courts. The oldest player in the Park Lane team is 82.

“The game is strenuous, but in an easy way. Walking netball is easier on the body, though it’s hard to keep both feet on the ground sometimes - no jumping! The rules are modified for older people, so you can hold the ball for four seconds instead of three,” says Clare.

The tournament was organised for October and the Waimea Plains team travelled to Christchurch the day before the first game. Leigh Tabak, village manager at Park Lane, says the residents took care of everything.

“The weather was a bit patchy, so our team organised an indoor court at the Bishopdale YMCA. They organised social events too, including a barbecue evening where the Waimea Plains team performed a song they’d prepared.”

Ultimately, Waimea Plains were victorious and went home with the Arvida Walking Netball Challenge Trophy, which was hand-crafted in the resident’s workshop at Park Lane. The tournament will be a regular event going forward and there’s talk of including a lawn bowls challenge as well.

The introduction of walking netball at Waimea Plains and Park Lane is an example of Arvida’s Attitude of Living Well™ philosophy in action.

Read more about Park Lane's sportswoman, Ethna Rouse - a legendary cricketer or other Living Well initiatives at Arvida Waimea Plains.