The game must go on: Steel - June 13, 2017
The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel will play its ANZ Premiership netball game against the Mainland Tactix in Christchurch tomorrow night.
Chief executive Lana Winders said the franchise was working closely with ANZ Premiership officials to bring in replacement players as needed for the match as the team recovers from yesterday’s car accident.
“No team plans to be dealing with an emergency incident like this but we are in a position to present a team tomorrow because of the commitment of our players and the depth in our development ranks,” she said.
“Our tagline has always been ‘made of Steel’ - now we get to prove it.”
The Steel team van with six players on board was involved in a crash at the intersection of Memorial Ave and Clyde Road in Fendalton on Monday. The van was struck by another vehicle and ended up on its side resulting in four players taken to the A and E Department at Christchurch Hospital.
Midcourter Shannon Francois and shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid sustained minor injuries and were released later that day. Shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit suffered a rib injury and was released to recover with the team last night while captain Wendy Frew was admitted overnight.
Frew underwent surgery to repair injuries to her elbow and leg and is expected to be discharged later today.
Steel lead physiotherapist Corina Ngatuere said player recovery would be “gauged day by day” and remained the team’s top priority.
“No decisions have been made regarding player availability for future games and won’t be until we are further through the recovery process,” she said.
Renowned for her tenaciousness, Frew was adamant she would be “back on the court in no time”.
“We are united together and this won’t stop us,” she said.
The accident was traumatic for the team.
“It’s like a nightmare - it’s such an awful, scary experience to be involved in for all of us. But we are a strong team and a strong franchise and we will get through it together. We’ve just got to look forward.”
Frew said members of the public at the scene and the medical staff involved with the team’s care were “exceptional”.
“Everyone has just been incredible - people didn’t hesitate to help. And I’ve had so many kind messages which I am truly grateful for.”