Our friends over at The Netball Show had an exclusive one-on-one chat with superstar Cat Tuiaviti ahead of her return to the Vitality Netball Superleague in 2022.
Tuivaiti will join fell New Zealander’s Melissa Bessell and Liana Leota to form a strong partnership as part of Severn Stars.
Tuivaiti says she missed being part of the Vitality Netball Super League.
“I’m a self-confessed netball nerd so I’ve watched a lot of netball. I have watched the Super League when it was, you know, the COVID edition and I’ve been keeping in touch with all those Silver Ferns games and the Roses. So yeah, I’m actually excited to be playing.”
The Stars’ season opener will be against Surrey Storm. If she takes the court, it will be Tuivaiti’s first elite netball game since welcoming her first child, Sebastian, in 2019.
“I’m nervous ’cause my body is a little bit different to what it was a couple of years ago. So, I’m just truly happy to be back playing netball.”
Tuivaiti recognizes the support that the clubs and players add for mothers in sport and Netball in particular.
“Claire Maxwell has been one to watch, so it’s pretty cool to see her come back so soon after having her beautiful little girl. I’m sure when things get pretty hard for me, I’ll ring her and cry about it so she can encourage me. It is pretty different, but it’s not impossible. It’s great that the Superleague is really encouraging women to find their way back to the netball court after having babies because it is something that we can do and it should be something that is supported. So, it’s awesome.”
Tuivaiti is looking forward to seeing how the new-look Stars team performs in 2022.
“I’ve watched a bit of the movement and I think it’s pretty exciting for the league to have such movement. At Stars, we’ve gained a few players who come from different teams that are really going to bolster different parts of the court. We have also lost a few and the likes of Georgia who’s gone back home to Wales. Movement is great. Sometimes it is scary, but it’s great, especially for the fans.”
Speaking about her game Tuivaiti is as enthusiastic as ever!
“I am a huge fan of myself. I think it’s good to just bring some of the experienced players back to also show how marketable this game is in the UK.”
The 2022 Netball Superleague season returns on the weekend of 5th and 6th February 2022 with a “Season Opener” doubleheader held at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena.
Stars face Surrey Storm in Round One and Manchester Thunder in Round 2.
See the full 2022 VNSL fixture here.