After a career working in the public sector in health and education, Sarah Boyes has made the transition into sport with her recent appointment as CEO of Netball Central Zone.

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Central Manawa added another chapter to their legacy after coming from behind to win the Synergy Hair Netball League crown, their fifth national title.

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A perennial force in the Synergy Hair Netball League, Central Manawa will finally get to play a home Grand Final when they meet the Comets in Sunday’s decider in Wellington.

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Experienced Central Manawa captain Jazz Scott has her hands full in helping two teams prepare for their respective tilts at domestic netball titles while clocking up plenty of air miles in the process.

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A quartet of Netball Central’s rising young talent has been selected in the New Zealand Secondary Schools (NZSS) team to tour Australia in June.

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A young player in a hurry, Central Manawa defender Madison Thomas is making up for lost time with a stellar campaign for the defending champions in the Synergy Hair Netball League (SHNL).

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After dipping to their first loss, a week off has given Central Manawa the opportunity to reset and reload heading towards the pointy end of the Synergy Hair Netball League (NNL).

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Still in the infancy of her career, athletic Central Manawa defender Rachel Price has made every post a winner since coming from the fringes to full playing status in the Synergy Hair Netball League (NNL).

From training partner last season, Price, 19, has transitioned to fully-fledged team member in 2023, adding her spark to an unbeaten three-from-three start to the season for the defending champions while showcasing her speed, aerial skills and ball-hunting abilities.

Swinging between goal defence and wing defence to best suit the occasion, Price is on the small side for an in-circle defender, standing at a tad over 6ft (1.88m) but that doesn’t bother her in the least. The challenge of having to reinvent herself for each opposition is one she relishes.

Having achieved her major goal of making the Manawa team, Price also found herself in the midst of sister team Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse as an apprentice training partner for the pre-season to further herald her arrival.

That turned into some decent court time of playing with the Pulse during the pre-season tournament in Ōtaki.

``That was a shock to me but in a good way because I hadn’t been in the NNL team before,’’ she said.

``My goal was just to make the Manawa team, so when Yvette (McCausland-Durie, Pulse coach) called to ask me about being an apprentice, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think that would happen this season but it was just a great opportunity to train with the Pulse and see what that environment’s all about, I really enjoyed it.

``Once again, I did not expect to get that much game time (in Ōtaki). I was just super excited and happy that I could even just go away with them and experience what it was like, then to get game time was a bonus.’’

Born and raised in Wellington, Price, a constant bundle of energy, who plays out of the PIC club, isn’t one to sit still for long.

About to finish her study to be a personal trainer, she also works for her mum and dad, who own a building business, during the day, and works at the gym she goes to (F45), a couple of mornings a week, along with fulfilling her netball training, travelling and playing commitments.

Manawa will meet a resilient Mainland, who have former Pulse player Paris Lokotui in their line-up, in Christchurch on Sunday, in what shapes as challenging match-up.

``We’re expecting a physical man-on type of game and we’ll probably have to grind it out for the full 60,’’ Price said.

``We’re such a new team this year, including the management, there’s so much more growth that we can give and I think that will only come with game time and being challenged.

``There’s only so much we can do at training by playing against each other, so coming up against teams that will really push us will be good and bring out the best in us.’’

With her first goal to make the Manawa side this year, ticked off, Price, has quickly re-shaped her intent.

``My goal for this season is just taking any opportunity that I get to get on court, trying to be named in that seven each week to start, giving it my all and just trying to progress my game as far as I can,’’ she said.