Skilled netballer Tiuana-Marie Aiono has won her first national title at the Netball New Zealand U17 Championships.
It was a tight game but Tiuana’s team, Wellington A Black seized victory defeating Auckland 1 27 – 21 in the National Champs grand final.
Year 11 student Tiuana-Marie and her team feel amazing to come away with the coveted title.
“As a team we spent around four months together training twice a week and played tournaments every weekend in June as preparation so it feels great knowing that all of the hard work and intense trainings paid off,” she says.
Forty teams from across the country went head to head at the four-day competition held in Rangiora from Monday 18 July to Thursday 21 July.
Wellington A Black was on fine form throughout the competition winning every one of its games before facing off with Auckland 1 for the final.
Tiuana-Marie says the team treated the final as any another, preparing for the showdown with its normal pre-game routine and warm up.
“It was important for us to play for each other and our families,” she explains.
Wellington A Black began the game strongly and gained an impressive 11 goal lead over Auckland 1 after halftime.
Auckland 1 redeemed itself clawing its way back onto the scoreboard in the final quarter but it was too late with Wellington taking a six-goal win.
“The final was great - the atmosphere was so positive and we had a huge amount of support from our family, teammates and other teams from around New Zealand,” Tiuana-Marie says.
Year 12 student Grace McLean played in the U17 Championships as part of the Wellington B Gold team and placed a commendable third in the competition.
One of our younger Netball players also impressed on the courts these school holidays.
Year 10 student Paris Lokotui captained Wellington Black in the North Island Netball U15 Championships in New Plymouth from Sunday 10 July and Tuesday, 12 July.
The team not only finished a proud fourth but Paris was named Defender of the Tournament and was selected for the A Tournament team.