Netball New Zealand has launched a drive to reduce the number of injuries ©Getty Images

Netball New Zealand has joined forces with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to teach more than 100,000 players how to reduce the risk of serious injury.

Both organisations will work to teach players how to improve their game through a "NetballSmart" campaign.

It is estimated that around 30,000 netball injuries cost the ACC, a New Zealand crown entity responsible for administering the country's universal no-fault accidental injury scheme, up to NZD$27 million (£15 million/$20 million/€16 million) per year.

The campaign will teach warm-up and preparation techniques, and aims to decrease serious knee injuries by as much as 50 per cent.

Netball is the biggest female participation sport in New Zealand, with 96 per cent of injuries suffered affecting women and girls.

A NZD$2.4 million (£1.3 million/$1.7 million/€1.4 million) investment has allowed NNZ to run the programme.

Netball is New Zealand's most popular female participation sport ©Getty Images
Netball is New Zealand's most popular female participation sport ©Getty Images

The governing body will recruit and train specialist facilitators to get their message across in schools, while "mass warm-ups" across the country are hoped to reach 25,000 players.

"We believe based on the evidence available that by teaching the right warm-up techniques we can reduce serious knee injuries by up to 50 per cent," said NNZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie.

"This will give girls the tools they need to stay injury free so they can enjoy life long participation in netball and physical activity."

New Zealand are currently ranked second in the International Netball Federation rankings, behind Australia. 

"New Zealand is a sporting nation and we want that to continue," said the AAC's sports injury prevention manager John Lamma.

"We want Kiwis to play the sports they love without experiencing the barrier of injury."