The 2016 New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Championships are being held from 4-7 October. Leading up to the tournament, College Sport Media will profile some of the teams and individuals likely to feature.
Mount Albert Grammar School will be one of the teams to beat in this year’s NZSS Netball Championships, heading to Lower Hutt as the defending champions and the recent Upper North Island tournament winners.
School: Mount Albert Grammar School
Senior A squad: Addi Albert-Jones, France Bloomfield, Armani Lam, Maine-Crystal Maro, Shaniah Morehu-Hunia, Kasey Price, Sharne Pupuke-Robati, Abigail Roache, Elle Temu, 'Alaimaluloa Toetu'u, Halaevalu Toutaiolepo, Ruby Young
Senior A team coaching staff: Paula Smith and Jess Wilson
Senior A team captain: Elle Temu and France Bloomfield (Co-Captains)
2016 Representative players: Elle Temu, selected for the New Zealand Secondary School team in April.
What’s it going to take for your school to do well in the NZSS Nationals?
We have to focus on the process, not the outcome. We’re not even thinking about the fact that we’ve won the title four years in a row, and are defending champions, but instead will take NZSS 2016 game by game.
What local competitions has your school team played in this year and how did your team go?
North Harbour tournament (winners); Combined Points Tournament (winners); Auckland Secondary School Netball competition (runners-up); Upper North Island Secondary School tournament (winners)
Who are your school’s closest rivals on the netball court?
We respect all of our opposition teams. We have such a young Premier team this year that anything could happen in any game, so we are not complacent about any of our rivals.
What’s been one memorable game your team has played this year?
Losing this year’s AKSS final [to Saint Kentigern College] was a good learning opportunity for us. It confirmed our work-ons for the upcoming tournaments, and we went on to win UNISS for the 10th year in a row, going through the whole tournament unbeaten.
How many players are returning to the NZSS Nationals from last year and what’s the age balance?
We have seven players returning, but only two are in our main line-up. Our main team is made up of mostly Year 11 players.
Does your team have a motto or philosophy that it comes together under?
We always refer to our MAGS Way set of values, which talk about respect, honesty and aiming for excellence. Our school motto “Per Angusta Ad Augusta” means “Through Hardship to Glory” and is also often quoted.
Who are the individuals in your team that are successful in other sports?
Sharne Pupuki-Robati: NZ Basketball U17 representative; Abigail Roache: Auckland Women’s 7s member and NZ Touch player, Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toparea: NZ Touch player
Shaniah Morehu-Hunia: Counties Touch player
Tell us about the team’s support?
Our parental support is huge – we could not achieve what we have without our fantastic parents. We are also grateful for having received a grant this season from Pub Charity, and sponsorship of our uniforms from Samurai.
Who are the recent former players that have played for this MAGS team now playing at an elite level?
Maia Wilson – Silver Fern and member of the Central Pulse; Holly Fowler – New Zealand A and member of the Northern Mystics; Erikana Pedersen - New Zealand A and member of the Mainland Tactix; Jamie-Lee Price – New Zealand A and member of the Waikato/BoP Magic;
Nadia Loveday – member of the Northern Mystics
The Beko National League is the feeder competition to the ANZ. This year’s Northern Team included Meretini Fuimaono, Rebekah Roache and Tera-Maria Amani, while the Mainland Team featured Caitlin Dowden.
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