The Beko Netball League is the development competition running alongside the ANZ Premiership. The league consists of 31 games run over 13 weekends, culminating in a Grand Final in Auckland on 18 June.
A number of secondary school netballers are involved in one of the six teams and College Sport Media is profiling some of these players.
Taneisha Fifita joined last year’s champions Netball South this year aged just 15. On Sunday the Year 11 Waitaki Girls’ High School student played in their 44-51 defeat to already confirmed grand finalists Netball Central. This Sunday South hosts the Northern Comets in Invercargill, live on Sky Sport 2 at 4.00pm.
Name: Taneisha Fifita
Beko Netball League Team: Netball South
School: Waitaki Girls’ High School, Oamaru
What positions do you play?
At what age, and how did you become involved in netball?
I was 10 when I first started. My younger sister inspired me to play the game because her netball coach thought I would be good.
What are your earliest memories of playing netball or being around the court?
Our family arrived from Japan [father was a former rugby player] and I had no idea how to play the game. My earliest fond memory of the game is when I was in Year 6 at Pembroke School and I got to play together with my two younger sisters in one team. Our mother was our coach and we won the title for that level. I thought it was pretty awesome.
Favourite on-court netball moment or highlight in your career thus far?
Highlight for me is being selected for South Beko at the age 15!
What other provincial, regional or national representative teams have you played in?
Waitaki Lightning Strike, North Otago U17 (Nationals 2016), Dunedin Southern Tui.
What challenges and rewards are there for you training and playing in the Beko League, with and against all the aspiring elite level players?
Challenge for me is juggling church, school and netball especially at a higher level. Training is very intense but very rewarding when I strive to balance it all and through this journey, I realised how important to well organise my day.
Will you also be playing for your school team this year and, if so, what’s coming up with them that you will be playing in and striving for?
I have played a few games and will be back with them when Beko is finished. I hope we will all strive to give our best in every game/tournament we have.
Who are your favourite netball players?
My favourite netballers are Irene van Dyk, Maria Tutaia and Jennifer O'Connell.
Do you have a motto or saying you live you or that motivates you?
To win and have fun!
What are your pre-game rituals?
Say my prayer
What other team/individual sports do you play?
Basketball and volleyball, but not competitively.
What subjects do you take at school?
My NCEA level one subjects are English, Maths, Science, Business Studies, Digital Technology and Textiles.
Who are your greatest supporters?
Forever grateful to the support of my family, my coaches (especially Georgie Salter), my teachers, my school, my friends and my team mates – thank you all!
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand