The Beko Netball League is the development competition running alongside the ANZ Premiership. The league consists of 31 games run over 13 weekends, culminating in a Grand Final in Auckland on 18 June.
A number of secondary school netballers are involved in one of the six teams and College Sport Media is profiling some of these players.
Ashleigh Garner plays for the Northern Comets, who had their first win over the Northern Marvels last weekend and whose next match is this coming weekend against Netball South on Ashleigh’s home court at Papakura.
She is in the 2017 New Zealand Schools squad and this week has been named in the Pathway to Podium group of promising players around New Zealand.
She was also a member of last October’s Saint Kentigern College team that won the NZSS Championships in Lower Hutt and will be returning later this year to defend the title.
Name: Ashleigh Garner
Beko Netball League Team: Northern Comets
School: Saint Kentigern College
What positions do you play?
Goal Shoot and Goal Attack
At what age did you start playing and how did you become involved?
I started playing netball around 10 years ago highly revolved around a netball orientated family.
What are your earliest memories of playing netball or being around the court?
Ever since I was little all I can remember is wanting to play every position and would always be angry when I got put on the sideline.
Favourite on-court netball moment or highlight in your career thus far?
Thus far, my favourite netball moment by a milestone is winning the NZSS title last year [St Kent’s beat Mount Albert Grammar School in the final].
What other club or provincial teams have you played in growing up?
I've played for Papakura from Year 7 up to U19's, which I have been in since 2013.
What challenges and rewards are there for you training and playing in the Beko League, with and against all the aspiring elite level players?
I have found so far Beko has been so beneficial to my development as a player, even though it hasn't been the easiest of challenges I've found that the things I have learned from this campaign has been so amazing even though it's just begun.
Will you also be playing for your school team this year and if so what’s coming up with them that you will be striving for?
I'm playing in the Saint Kent’s Premier team in 2017, and where we currently hold the title for the best school in NZ, and I am wanting to hold the trophy for again especially because it's my last year.
What club team are you playing in this year and what competitions are you involved in with them this year?
I play for Manurewa Rugby Netball Club in Papakura of which we play in the Super 14 and RPL competition but I haven't been able to play in the Super 14 competition.
Who is your favourite netball player?
Anna Harrison is someone I’ve always looked up to, even though she doesn't play in my position.
Do you have a motto or saying you live you or that motivates you?
My motto I always refer to is 'dig deep’, just in times when I'm feeling challenged I've always found that it helps me focus to get the job done.
What subjects do you take at school and do you know what you’ll be doing next year?
I take English, maths, photography, NCEA PE and geography and still have no clue what I'm going to do at university but I want to go to stay in Auckland.
Who are your greatest supporters?
My family has been the biggest support in my life, without them I wouldn't have been able to get where I am today. I'm immensely privileged to be surrounded by such positive and influential people that have helped me develop not only as a player but as a person and am massively grateful for everything!
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand