This week, all eyes are on Oceania, as five teams from the region compete for the three allocated places at next year’s Netball World Youth Cup, to be held in Gaborone, Botswana. Here, we help you get to know the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga, at the start of what promises to be a highly competitive qualification event.
Meet Daimzel Rongokea – at 15, she’s one of the youngest players at the tournament. In this video, we get an insight into the training she’s put in to give the Cook Islands the best chance at the qualification tournament.
The Fijian Baby Pearls have high hopes for the qualification tournament. They will be hoping that the guidance of newly-appointed national coach, Vicki Wilson, one of Australia’s most capped players of all time, will provide them with an edge.
Papua New Guinea
The team from Papua New Guinea will be feeling the support of their community behind them. Just this month, the country’s Minister for Sports, the Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, MP, opened the National Netball Senior Championships, highlighting the profile of the sport in Papua New Guinea.
Samoa’s U21 side arrived in Auckland in high spirits for the qualifying tournament. In a break from training over the weekend, the team visited the North Shore Pacific Island Church, and caught up with former national squad coach Linda Vagana.
The team from Tonga have received a warm welcome in Auckland and are rallying the support of the Tongan community in the city. After the recent announcement that the Tonga Netball Association has been shortlisted for the international Beyond Sport Awards in the Sport Federation Governing Body of the Year category, the team will be hoping to bring more good news to their country this week.