Ekenasio to miss start of ANZ Premiership for Central Pulse

Ameliaranne Ekenasio will be missing from Central Pulse’s starting line-up for the start of the ANZ premiership, taking some time away from netball due to exhaustion and fatigue. 

The reigning champions will be without their prolific shooter, and are also without Katrina Rore through pregnancy.

The Silver Ferns captain opened up on Instagram about her mental health battles after New Zealand sealed victory over Australia in the Constellation Cup.

Through this she mentioned her challenges and that she was saying a therapist and pleads to everyone to reach out as early as possible. 

The news comes as Ekenasio missed the pre-season tournament in order to be fully prepared for the start of the season, however the medical leave has been extended. 

Following the news, CEO of Central Pulse, Fran Scholey has said they are putting her health first and allowing her to focus on recovery before returning to play. 

‘’She remains on extended medical leave, she is exhausted and just need’s to reset after what has been an incredible 18 months for her,’’ 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.

“She’s not not going to come back to the Pulse, absolutely she’s coming back to the Pulse. She’s making great headway and we’re just taking it week by week with her.

‘’We are taking all of the considerations and implications from her when she’s ready to return, working on a weekly basis to ensure the programme is in place to get returning on court.’’

The return of the shooter looks to not yet be confirmed, and her Silver Ferns coach, Dame Noeline Taurua has suggested she needs the time and space to rest and come back when she is ready. 

‘’Taking a rest is a positive for her so we fully support her and also Pulse and the action that has been taken,” Dame Noeline said.

The Silver Ferns coach said the best thing they could do was give her space.

“It’s knowing when you do need to pull off and they need to take that rest. I think with Ameliaranne people need to also realise that she is a mother as well, so you’ve got extra strains on top of that, and also has a lot of other things working on top of her being a full-time athlete.

“She’s not immune to those things that a lot of other people do suffer so I think it’s a really positive thing within our sport that we do recognise that athletes are people first and foremost and whatever’s required for them to be the best we will do that

“I think it’s courageous and just probably demonstrates the strength of the woman and we know that she will be back on court so having this rest now can only be good for her, Pulse and also the Silver Ferns.”

One thing is for certain, everyone is behind Ekenasio in her return to play and wishing her all the best. 

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