Silver Ferns captain to miss start of ANZ Premiership season due to fatigue

Author
Newstalk ZB / RNZ,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Apr 2021, 5:50PM
Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio. Photo / Photosport
Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio. Photo / Photosport

Silver Ferns captain to miss start of ANZ Premiership season due to fatigue

Author
Newstalk ZB / RNZ,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Apr 2021, 5:50PM

Another one of New Zealand's most high-profile national sports captains is taking a break due to fatigue.

Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio will miss the start of the national netball premiership because she's exhausted.

It comes after White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine sat out the second and third Twenty20 cricket internationals against Australia and the three one-dayers that followed as she was suffering from fatigue.

Ekenasio missed last month's pre-season tournament in Ōtaki to freshen up following the Silver Ferns' Constellation Cup victory and Pulse CEO Fran Scholey says she remains on "extended medical leave".

"She is exhausted and just needs to reset," Scholey said.

"It's been an incredible 18 months for her and so she just needs to reset herself."

Scholey met with Ekenasio this week, but she hasn't been training with the Pulse in the lead-up to Sunday's season opener against the Northern Stars in Palmerston North.

And it remains to be seen when the two-time defending champions will be able to call on their goal attack and captain.

"With any athlete obviously we're mindful of looking after their health and wellbeing so we need to make sure when she returns she's in a return to play programme," Scholey said.

"Our key thing around our kaupapa (policy) is that we ensure our athletes are mentally well in terms of their home life first and foremost so that when they're able to perform at work they're at the best of their abilities. So until we get any indication that that is all okay then she won't be returning to the environment."

Ekenasio hopes to play some part in the competition.

"That's exactly where she wants to be. I don't think any athlete doesn't want to not be performing at their best and in their job that they love," Scholey said.

"Obviously from a Pulse perspective she's an incredible leader within our team so we want her to be at her best when she's returning.

"We are taking all of the considerations and indications from her when she's ready and able to do that and so we're supporting her through that process."

In Ekenasio's absence Silver Ferns mid-courter Claire Kersten will captain the Pulse.

"Claire's fantastic. She's got incredible experience, she's been around the Pulse environment for a long time now and obviously she was back in with the Silver Ferns which was fantastic for her.

"The main thing is we need to have a leader that is present at this time to set our team up for success and Ameliaranne is 100% supportive of that as well."

text by Brenton Vannisselroy of RNZ