Spending an army-themed day with the highly-skilled personnel at the High Wire Trust (HWT) in Auckland has provided a significant pre-season boost for the Central Beko Netball League team.

Facilitated and co-ordinated by the HWT, the day-long exercise held last month, involved a series of team-building activities for the youthful Central team.

The first activity was held at the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) army base at Papakura, followed by more exercises at the Trust. This included a confidence-based course involving abseiling and a lecture in leadership from David Hopkins, formerly of the SAS, a special forces unit of the New Zealand Army, and now CEO of HWT.

``They were very nervous at first because they didn’t know what to expect,’’ Central Beko coach Pelesa Semu said of her squad. ``But by the end of it, they had showed huge growth in themselves and within the group as well.

``It was very valuable because this squad is relatively new and it was quite important that they get some time together as a group to learn more about each other and themselves. It was a great opportunity to be involved in such a worthwhile and well-organised day that David and the Trust put together for us.

``It was a perfect team-building opportunity and we came out of it with a real common purpose and sense of growth.’’

With just Danielle Tafili and Jermaine Howard-Vallance along with 2017 training partners Layce Walker and Monalisa Groom returning from last year’s title winning team, Central is introducing a number of newcomers to the league this season

The defending champions open their 2018 campaign against last year’s beaten finalists Mainland on May 13.

2018 Central squad:

Braxton Te Riini, Colleen Faleafaga, Danielle Tafili, Elle Temu, Georgia White, Grace McLean,

Jenna Barrett, Jermaine Howard-Vallance, Layce Walker, Madeline Gordon, Monalisa Groom, Paris Lokotui, Salote Taufa, Saviour Tui, Victoria Miller.

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