Now that New Zealand's All Whites are on their way home after a rather fabulous showing at the World Cup--one of only four countries in the history of the World Cup to have not lost a game and not to go forward to the next round--it's interesting that Kiwis are finally showing some interest in the round ball game of football. The oval ball associated with rugby is usually the foremost sport in most Kiwi's minds, or perhaps the much smaller, hard red ball of cricket.
But recent photos from home remind me that netball is still one of the top three--perhaps four--sports in NZ. While there are international women's teams in football, rugby and cricket--and even female jockeys and yachties--no men play netball.
It was one of my sports growing up, along with softball, tennis, football and field hockey (just plain "hockey" in NZ). I well remember wearing my black, pleated tunic uniform, with GA on my bib (Goal Attack, for the uninitiated).
Both my nieces play NZ netball, the older of the two playing very competitively. One day, I hope both may have the chance to play for the Silver Ferns, NZ's national netball team.