Concerns for men's netball prospects for 2026 Commonwealth Games

By Taroi Black

Aotearoa Men finally got a win over the national women's team, Silver Ferns, who in the end sealed the Cadbury Netball Series two games to one.

Now the question running hot in the sport sector is whether men's netball will be included in the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Sky Sports reo-commentator Marutawhaorere Delamere, who is also a member of the open squad Aotearoa Men, believes netball will cease to exist in the pinnacle sporting event if other countries haven't provided a high-performance programme to ensure a clear pathway. 

"We can see how the world is wanting to see more women and men participate in various sports like netball. If that is not achieved, then I can't see netball being included in the Commonwealth Games."

According to a BBC report, Commonwealth Games president Dame Louise Martin of Scotland wants an overhaul that could cut some sports out, such as squash, netball and lawn bowls. 

Playing the world's best

But hosts can determine the events. 

Delamere says, "For us [New Zealand], if we focus on providing good systems and bringing our netball regions together, then it will work for us. On the other hand, national bodies for men's netball across the globe need to take this really seriously too."   

Last night proved why men's netball is exciting as the players showed tenacity and natural flair. The third quarter proved dividends for the Silver Ferns to claim victory 57-53.

But the win is brought down to the opportunities this series has given to men's netball. 

Aotearoa Men assistant coach Dion Te Whetu says, "That fact isn't lost on us, that we get to play against the world's best team on TV and we hope that the younger generation will see that."