The 2016 New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Championships are being held in Lower Hutt from 4-7 October. Leading up to the tournament, College Sport Media will profile some of the individuals and teams likely to feature.
Tayla Earle made the NZSS squad earlier this year as a Year 11 out of Rotorua Girls’ High School. She’s subsequently moved to Auckland’s Saint Kentigern College who were runners-up at last year’s Nationals in Ashburton and who won the Auckland Championship this year and finished second to MAGS at the recent Upper North Island qualifying tournament.
Name: Tayla Earle
School: Saint Kentigern College
What positions do you play?
Wing Defence, Centre, Wing Attack and Goal Defence.
What representative teams have you played in?
Rotorua U15 and U17’s 2015, Aotearoa Maori Secondary Schools 2015, Auckland U17 1’s 2016, New Zealand Secondary Schools 2016. Waiariki Maori 2015 and 2016.
What’s it going to take for your school to do well in the NZSS Nationals in Lower Hutt in early October?
For everyone to stay mentally grounded and dig deep, especially on the last days of the tournament. To work hard individually but play as a team from the get go. We all have to empty the tank.
Will this be your first time playing at the NZSS tournament?
Yes, this will be my first time at nationals.
What local competitions has your school team played in this year and how did your team go?
We were the Auckland Saturday Netball Champions in 2016 and the Upper North Island Secondary Schools tournament runners-up.
Who are your school’s closest rivals on the netball court?
We try not to think of who we are playing we just look at them as another team we have to play. There is a strong sense of rivalry between our school and MAGS from previous years but this year I think we are all not planning ahead and every team we play is just another team, another obstacle in the way of us reaching our goal.
What’s been one memorable match you have played in this year for your school team?
The final of the Auckland Champs [beat MAGS 40-35], because we all contributed to the game and played extremely well as a team. The best feelings after the game.
What’s been a personal netball highlight for you so far this year?
Making the New Zealand Secondary Schools Team and playing with such a high calibre of netballers.
How long have you been playing netball?
I started playing in Year 6, and just fell in love with the game from the start.
Do you have netball role model?
Laura Langman, she is so determined and pushes herself no matter how hard it is.
What is it that motivates you to play well?
Just remembering the support I have from my family is what motivates me the most.
What other sports do you play competitively?
Touch and volleyball.
What are your favourite subjects at school?
My favourite subject at school is PE.
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