5 Jun 2020

Netball support staff to be paid after funding boost

8:10 am on 5 June 2020

Coaches and physios can now return to work with ANZ Premiership sides after professional netball teams were the biggest winners in the latest instalment of the government's Sport Recovery Package.

Steel's Shannon Saunders & Taneisha Fifita.

Southern Steel's Shannon Saunders & Taneisha Fifita. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The six ANZ Premiership sides, five Super Rugby franchises, the Warriors and the Wellington Phoenix are all getting a share of $4.6 million targeted to provide immediate financial relief to help clubs and competitions remain viable and get back up and running after Covid-19.

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) is the biggest recipient getting $2.2 million, New Zealand Rugby gets $1.25 million, the Phoenix $950,000 and the Warriors $200,000.

NNZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said the funding boost would allow the Premiership teams to bring back staff including assistant coaches and physios - and pay them.

Some staff had offered to continue working for teams on a voluntary basis when the competition resumes in Auckland on 19 June but Wyllie said that was no longer necessary.

"The support from this funding allows us to start layering back in the services that are so vital to the team whether it be a physio or strength and conditioning or coaching.

"I think it will make such a significant difference in that sense. We are something that is built on voluntarism but I think when you get to this level we really wanted to be able to ensure that people were recognised for their input and the skills they brought to the table and this just enable us to do that."

Wyllie said it would be an "equitable distribution" of the funds between the six teams that allowed some cost relief and also to support players.

Netball received nearly twice as much money as rugby from this latest round of funding and Wyllie said the significant amount was recognition of the importance of netball for sport in New Zealand and also the aspirational element for women and girls.

"We don't run a competition to make millions of dollars, we run it for that aspirational [aspect] for the fans and to be able to grow amazing Silver Ferns in the future.

"So I think it is really encouraging that that support has been recognised and that the government has been able to do this for us."