Two current and one recent Howick College netballers were recently named in the Pathway to Podium programme.
Current students Leehava Saverio and Nanise Waqaira and recent school leaver Teuila Sotutu were part of the Howick College Netball team that won their maiden NZSS netball crown in 2017. They also all played for the U19 Auckland Fiji netball Secondary (AFCN) Representative Team in 2018 and Leehava was selected again earlier this year in the team’s third place finish against the seven other countries who competed in the Internationals Secondary Schools Tournament in May.
Nanise, Lee and Teuila were named in the NZSS squad in 2018 with Nanise making the final team and she went on to make the team again this year playing a 4-game tournament against the England U19s, winning 3-1. Teuila and Nanise have played in the BEKO competition this year, with Nanise being named player of the year for the Northern Marvels. Nanise also had a training partner contract that saw her train and play some minutes for the Northern Mystics.
Leehava plays goal shoot and goal attack and Nanise is a defender.
College Sport Media put a few questions to Leehava and Nanise.
How long have you playing netball for and what are your early memories?
Leehava: I have been playing for 11 years. I don’t remember how I started but if it wasn’t for my teachers back in primary school I wouldn’t have loved netball.
Nanise: I have been playing for 11 years now and a memory I have of falling in love with the game was watching the Silver Ferns on TV when I was 10.
Did you watch the Silver Ferns recently winning the World Cup as it happened, and how does their win inspire you and your peers to train and play harder?
Leehava: It was a school night, but I watched it delayed. The game did inspire me and reminded myself that anything is possible if you put your heart and soul into it. The game makes me want to be a better athlete than I am now and to put in the extra hard work.
Nanise: Yes I did watch it and for me personally it gave me an extra push to keep putting in the hard yards to get to where I want to be. Their win will have definitely inspired younger players to keep striving and to know that anything is possible if you believe.
What teams have you played in over the past year or so and any highlights that stand out?
Leehava: I have played for several teams over the past year, including the Howick College Premiers and Auckland Fijians U19s and Howick Pakuranga rep teams and Shelly Park and College Rifles club teams.
Nanise: I was part of the Northern Mystics and Northern Marvels this year and highlights are getting to work with some of the nation’s best athletes and getting to know them on and off the court.
How competitive is the Auckland Premier school competition and who are the teams to beat?
Leehava: With some of the top schools in the country in the country playing every week it is tough. Traditionally the best schools have been St Kent’s and MAGS but recently this has been Westlake Girls’ Epsom Girls’ and McAuley High School.
Nanise: Our Auckland competition is very physical and intense. Two teams to beat are St Kent’s and MAGS.
The Upper North Island Secondary Schools (UNISS) tournament is coming up, which will be a focus for Howick College now? Having won nationals in 2017, what will it take to win?
Leehava: Our Howick team is looking forward to playing well and finishing in the top 6 [and qualifying for UNISS] is definitely our goal. Having won in 2017, we know this is not going to be easy but going into UNISS all the hard work we have been putting in and a positive mindset will get us there. Winning nationals would be an amazing and awesome moment to experience again.
Nanise: We are looking forward to UNISS and to try and qualify for nationals. At this stage we are still working on building our connections through the court to get the title back. I have faith and believe that our team will perform to the best of our ability.
Fast five questions:
Favourite and least favourite subjects at school?
Leehava: Tourism and P.E. / NA
Nanise: Health and P.E / English and social studies
Favourite quote or motto?
Leehava: “Faith can move mountains.”
Nanise: “You learn more from failure than from success.” / Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Nanise: Sushi, Nachos.
Favourite holiday destination?
Other sports you play?
Nanise: Volleyball and Sevens
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand