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August 20, 2012 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

On Campus

Emma Weenik

This week we spoke to netball amazon Emma Weenik. Her career to date has been beleaguered by injury but the machine that is Emma rumbles on. Stand down.

How long have you been playing and what do you love about it?
Since I was six, but I’ve been out of netball for three years on and off with various injuries. I had surgery a year ago and played on it, then found I had three stress fractures.

Never been burnt out?
Not really. I count down the days to the seasons and am gutted when it’s over. I would’ve thought I’d feel resentment to the sport but haven’t yet.

What has been your greatest achievement in Netball?
NZ U21 squad. However, I’ve just been cut because of injury.

If you were on form, whom would you be playing for?
The Pulse or Pacific Islands Church Netball coached by Wai (Silver Ferns legend), who have produced legends.

Your list of injuries would rival any pro-skater, what was the most painful?
A year ago I ripped scar tissue on both sides of my ankle, and the bones banged together and shattered on the inside. Giggled my way off court.

Netball girls’ version of rugby. Guildford? (Naked and aggressive)
It’s a big thing to go out after NPC—initiation involves picking a song, singing it without music and dancing sluttily to it. Britney spears “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” I was 16 so did it sober (!!)

How do you balance pro-sport and uni?
It’s tough, but High Performance Sport NZ/Prime Minister’s Athlete Scholarships provide you with a mentor, who can liaise between you and the university.

The other day my partner in (social) netball (*shout out to really good netball team!!!*) told me to ‘fuck off’, ever been in an epic bitch fight?
There was one game against a big rival team, Tatura, a prestigious Maori girls school. We were two up, and this girl and I were getting annoyed at each other, I intercepted the ball, then turned and poked my tongue out at her. As I did it, I threw the ball away—such karma!

Are there barriers to guys playing netball in the outdoor arena?
Leagues do exist, and guys are great competition. One of the best players I know shows me the game from a guy’s perspective. The guys have recognised it’s female-dominated, but it doesn’t stop them playing or enjoying it.

If soccer is an Olympic sport, do you think netball should be, too?
No, it’s a good balance being at the Commonwealth Games and not the Olympics. Netball doesn’t have the global following that football does, so it wouldn’t fit.

Watching all these Kiwi athletes do amazingly well has made Matt want to get back on an oar. Does it inspire you to make the Ferns?
It’s always been a priority—you see how happy they are and that hard work brings reward. People like Mahe are inspirational.


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