Pan Pacific Winners to World Cup Opening Ceremony
Huntly Kia Ora Netball Pan Pacific Winners to World Cup Opening Ceremony
Eighteen players and their coaches from Huntly’s Kia Ora Netball Club will take their seats, as guests of the New World Netball World Championships 2007, at tomorrow night’s Opening Ceremony to cheer on the Silver Ferns in the opening game against Malawi.
Competitors at the inaugural Pan Pacific Netball Championships held in Canberra, Australia, in October, Kia Ora’s two teams of players aged between 11 and 15 years, each returned victorious, winning their age group categories against stiff competition from top level Pacific and Australian teams.
Currently undefeated winners of the Hamilton City Year 10 Premier Netball grade, Kia Ora’s impressive achievements also include winning the highest goal scoring average for secondary schools in Hamilton City in both 2006 and 2007.
These achievements were hard-won according to Kia Ora Club Secretary Leytia Leota acknowledging not only the hours of regular and high performance training put in by the girls throughout the season and previous summer, but also their hard work raising the $25,000 needed to get to Canberra.
“Everyone worked so hard; players, families and supporters. It wasn’t easy in a small community like ours so we were especially pleased to bring home the trophies. Without the support of Solid Energy and the local community we wouldn’t have made it,” says Leytia.
“To now be invited to the World Cup is just amazing recognition of all that hard work as well as an experience our players could only have dreamed of. We are just over the moon.”
“The girls experienced a different and incredibly intense competitiveness at international level at the Pan Pacifics. This was really good learning for them and will stand them in good stead for the future, but to be at the World Cup is another level again. We feel really privileged to be given this opportunity and naturally we’re stoked to be able to support the Silver Ferns in person.”
Solid Energy is supporting the teams’ trip to the World Cup at The Trusts Stadium at Waitakere by providing transport and meals.