THE spotlight will be on grassroots netball at the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel’s final home game of the regular season on Saturday.
While the Steel has cemented its place in the Elimination Final against the Tactix on August 1, just where the crucial game will be played is still unknown.
The southerners must beat Te Wananga o Ruakawa Pulse at ILT Stadium Southland to be in with a chance to host finals netball on home turf.
It won’t be the only action on court. Dubbed the ANZ Premiership Community Celebration Round 15, the Steel event will applaud local netball clubs with range of initiatives.
Steel marketing manager Carla O’Meara said the franchise was excited to showcase the sport’s amateur ranks on the national stage.
“Our netball clubs are the foundation upon which the Steel franchise is built on – they support the top echelon by nurturing our future Steel players and play a vital role in developing passion for our sport across all levels,” she said.
“As a franchise, we’re really looking forward to the chance to involve the clubs in our event.”
Nominated clubs Limehills, Otautau, Rata, St Mary’s and Winton will be vying to boost their coffers with $1000 on offer, along with the REALSTEEL Community Club Challenge trophy, for the club which gained the most points during a halftime competition.
The teams taking part will receive netballs and a coaching session for a club team or group of their choice.
Steel fans can take part in crowd voting for the best dressed team and for best club supporters.
“We’re encouraging their club netballers to wear their colours with pride,” O’Meara said.
The first 1000 Steel fans through the doors will be given a token to vote for their favourite netball club from 18 pre-registered to receive a share of another $1000 prize.
The Steel had been fostering connections with netball centres throughout the Netball South Zone during the season with several large Steel billboards erected at centres in Winton, Gore, Balclutha, North Otago and Invercargill, with more to be rolled out soon.
“It’s been fantastic to create a focal point which not only promotes the Steel but inspires young netballers as to what they could achieve on their netballing journey,” O’Meara said.
A bumper crowd is expected when the Steel host the Pulse at 5pm on Saturday. Extra seating is now on sale with the upper stands of ILT Stadium Southland opened for the first time since 2016 for a regular season fixture.
Tickets are available from the venue or through www.ticketek.co.nz.