Press Release – Netball Central
The partnership between Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Central Pulse netball team has been reinforced by the launch of an alternative playing strip for this season.
It has been a long time in the making but with the presentation to the team and blessing of the dresses by Te Wānanga o Raukawa personnel earlier this week, the new-look strip is set to get its first ANZ Premiership outing when the Pulse meet the Northern Stars in Auckland on Monday.
Predominantly green in colour while featuring a more contemporary version of the puhoro design – the tightness and closeness of the pattern (in black) represents team work and working together – the alternate strip will also be used in the last match of the regular season when the Pulse host the Northern Mystics in Wellington.
It will feature again (subject to Netball New Zealand approval) during the Super Club tournament in Nelson to be played from August 20 – 24.
Into its second year of partnering the Pulse, Te Wānanga o Raukawa welcomed the opportunity to help provide a realistic symbol as a defining link between the pair.
“The dress, and the design, is something that affirms our culture and is important not only to our organisation and the Pulse but to Aotearoa,’’ Te Wānanga o Raukawa spokesperson Stacey Winterburn-Cooper said.
“The dress is unique, the design of it, the meaning behind it – bringing the Central Zone’s netball centres together – represents the unity of the team. It’s something special for us and also something special and distinctive for the players to wear and take to the court in.’’
Established 36 years ago, Te Wānanga o Raukawa is a Māori tertiary education provider which has continued to grow and reach out to a wide audience through its pioneering vision of being a centre of innovation and higher learning.
Hailed as the `smallest university in the world’ with two students when first established, Te Wānanga o Raukawa has gone on to develop a stellar academic environment and record that is authentically Māori and offers a comprehensive range of facilities and services at its Ōtaki campus.
Moving to the Pulse from Auckland this year, defender Sulu Fitzpatrick has embraced everything on offer in her new environment and is excited about the opportunities provided by Te Wānanga o Raukawa.
“This represents being proud of being in New Zealand in respect to Tikanga Māori and being women that personify all the things that come under Tikanga Māori,’’ she said. “For us at the Pulse, that’s to pay homage to our partnership and also to Māori culture in general.
“I love the concept. The dresses look great, it’s a little bit of a different colour with a little bit added to the bright yellow, so I’m excited to wear it. It’s something different and the timing is perfect as well because we want to bring something new to lift to another level coming into the business end of the season.’’