A group of secondary school girls are involved in the nine provincial squads in this year’s Farah Palmer Cup Women’s NPC rugby competition.
The Farah Palmer Cup is now into its fourth week. This week College Sport Media caught up with Bay of Plenty Volcanix squad member Parekura Whareaorere (Te Puke High School).
Name: Parekura Whareaorere
Secondary School: Te Puke High School
Women’s NPC squad: Bay of Plenty Volcanix
Playing position (s): Lock, Flanker
College Sport Media: When did you start playing rugby?
Parekura Whareaorere: My first involvement with rugby was through school when I was a year 10, aged 14. I didn't know anything about the game except from what my friends said about it. I was eager to be part of the Girl's 1st XV Rugby team. At first I couldn't get my head around the game and didn’t understand the rules at all. It was all confusing. However, with the knowledge and support from my Koro (Grandfather) my understanding of the game progressed over time. Two years later I began to get noticed by the BoP selectors.
CSM: Do you play XVs rugby for your school or a club team or both?
PW: I played for both school and club. For school we played in the BoP competition where we faced other school teams in the Bay. It was very challenging for my school team in this year’s competition, as we had a lot of young players who had never played rugby before. Me and a couple of other girls however did have a bit of experience and I'd like to say we helped our young team mates better their knowledge about the game and encourage them to continue playing rugby.
This was my first year playing for a club (Rangiuru) and it was a huge step up from secondary schools rugby! It was a lot more physical. However I really enjoyed the culture of women's rugby and the physicality. Rangiuru did well for our first time in this BoP Women's competition and third was a great success.
CSM: What’s a memorable rugby moment?
PW: When I was selected for the BoP Women's Sevens rugby team in 2015, my Koro kept telling me that if I keep up training I could go all the way. He saw the potential in me that I couldn't. The encouragement I received from him after being selected drove me to be better and take those steps up the ladder. After I was selected in the Volcanix team I felt that this was the next step up from the BoP U18's Secondary School's team and the opening to the Black Ferns.
CSM: Do you also play Sevens rugby and have you competed in the Condor Sevens?
PW: Yes, I play Sevens and last year (2015) my school team, Te Puke High School competed in the Condors and placed third.
CSM: Do you or have you played other sports as well:
PW: I used to play netball and was selected in a Bop U15's netball team. I also played for my school. However, netball took a lot of commitment and time so eventually I had to choose either rugby or netball. So I chose rugby. I was also involved in Waka Ama for my school and we competed in the Secondary School's Waka Ama National's.
CSM: Do you have rugby or sporting role models that you respect or aspire to emulate?
PW: Portia Woodman is definitely my idol and the woman I look up to.
CSM: What would you say to other school girls hesitant to try rugby?
PW: To keep playing because the more you play the more understanding you will get about the game and the more you will love it.
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