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Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 13:54 UK

Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary

Sonia Mkoloma (Litmus Images)
By Sonia Mkoloma
England international defender and Brunel Hurricanes captain

Hi everyone back at home.

As some of you may already know, I have moved to New Zealand to play netball in the new Tran-Tasman League - the ANZ Championship.

I am based in 'windy' Wellington and I'm playing for the central Suzuki Pulse netball franchise. Thanks to our sponsor I am driving around in a fab Suzuki Swift, so it is clear to see that the game is a commercial hot pot over here.

Sonia Mkoloma in action for the Pulse

The Championship has just completed its second round and is going great.

We have been unable to secure a win yet, but we have definitely been playing some great netball and proving our critics wrong, so if you can, make sure you guys in the UK follow our progress.

For all you netball fans out there this is definitely the league to watch and I believe that the English Superleague can fulfil the same status in the future.

It is filled with all top-line netballers, from Australia's Sharelle McMahon playing for the Melbourne Vixens, to England's Geva Mentor and Australia's Mo'onia Gerrard for the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

One of the world's best shooters, Kiwi Irene Van Dyk plays for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and even Jamaica's Romelda Aiken is playing for the Queensland Firebirds alongside our very own Tamsin Greenway.

I was running around the court holding my dislocated finger shouting 'push it back in' just 'push it back in'!

Sonia Mkoloma

It really is a who's who of netball so get watching, you can even watch highlights on line at

I think I have been learning so much in a short space of time and you can see the difference in playing styles between the teams from the two countries.

Australian teams opting for the flat and fast game with man-on-man defences, whilst the Kiwi teams are playing a fast game with zone/space marking. So when the teams play, it really is anybody's game.

As some of you know, the ANZ Championship is the first professional netball league and I am really enjoying training as a full-time athlete.

Even though our schedule is pretty full on, we get the chance to spend a lot of time working as a team unit.

There is also fun added in - so far I have played rugby, learnt Aussie rules football (which saw me slip flat on my face in the mud!), had a session with an intense stretch guru (ouch!) and we go swimming regularly.

Sonia Mkoloma catches a rebound during a match against Waikato.
They play hard down under, as you can see here...
My hair does not like that one and I hate all that underwater stuff but it's all good!

I am living in an apartment in Wellington and everyone has made me feel so welcome. We are doing so much media stuff and I have even had my picture on a local billboard!

We also go to Super 14 rugby to watch the Hurricanes who are linked with our team - a bit like Brunel Hurricanes are linked with Guildford Heat basketball.

We've been even invited to the Wellington cricket awards as well so they are keeping us busy!

I guess I better share with you guys a somewhat funny story which involved me dislocating my finger on the Thursday training before the ANZ opening match on the Saturday, where we played the Vixens.

The girls thought it was hilarious the way that I was running around the court holding my dislocated finger shouting 'push it back in' just 'push it back in'!

Needless to say they issued me with a team fine for my antics! That will teach me..

Anyway, I hope you are all well, enjoying the summer off but keeping up the training ready for the new winter season in October.

Speak soon, Sonia x

see also
Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary
17 Dec 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary
07 Nov 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's netball diary
06 Jun 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's diary
26 Apr 07 |  Netball
Sonia Mkoloma's diary
14 Mar 07 |  Netball
Netball results
24 May 06 |  Netball

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