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“Just Massive” Ngātiwai teen says of Baseball World Cup

“Just Massive” Ngātiwai teen says of Baseball World Cup

It is back to more routine matters like studies for Aotea Parata, Northland’s sole member in the New Zealand Under15 baseball team who returned home to Whangarei last Friday (15th August)

However, the Ngātiwai teenager says he wouldn’t change a thing in what has been a transformational year for him.

“Going to the baseball world championships in Mazatlan, Mexico was just massive
as far as experiences go,” Aotea says. “We went there ranked 14 out of 18 and we played true to that ranking in our first ever trip there by finishing 14th.

“We all just learned so much on the trip, but it was also very draining physically because we were playing in heat of high 30s and early 40s and with very high humidity which just leaves you completely drained,” he says as he tries to catch up on studies at Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa in downtown Whangarei.

The centre-outfield who also pitches says the experience of taking on big baseball nations like the USA and Japan, regardless of the results, was invaluable.

“For someone like me who is way up here in the north and not down in Auckland to get to play in a competition like this was something else. It was a first time experience and you learn a huge amount from it.”

He says while the results were a mixed bag it put New Zealand baseball at the Under15 level on the international map while personally it has sparked an interest in travel and understanding the wider world.

“Yeah, I’ve probably got the travel bug now with this trip coming after going to Italy in May with the Leadership Academy of A Company which attended the 70th

Commemorative Anniversary of the Battle of Cassino,” he says.

However, that ambition, he says, may have to wait until after he completes university studies in a few years. He intends to study physical education.

Aotea thanked the Ngātiwai Trust Board for sponsoring his international travel this year.


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