Netball Samoa is preparing for one of the biggest netball events of the year: the Youth World Cup.
Samoa will be travelling to Botswana in July to compete against the top netball teams in the world.
So far, Samoa has fielded three amazingly talented netball players who are vying for a final spot on Samoa’s World Cup roster.
Selina Ripley, Romanaia Pose and Gafua Salesa, have stepped up their game since the Fiji Nationa Youth Netball Series earlier this year, where Samoa fought a close final match against Fiji.
Out of the three, Romanaia Pose was the sole locally based player that played in Fiji. She recounted her experience in Fiji.
She said, “Most of all it was scary because being the only local you kind of feel lonely sometimes. Overall, it was a good experience to play with the top two teams in the world.
It was a once in a lifetime experience and good exposure. Making new friends and getting along with everyone else was pretty good.”
With netball trials coming up very quickly these three girls have been training hard to earn their spot on Samoa’s National team.
Gafua Salesa said, “. We have early morning trainings and that can be really hard especially when its closing onto the weekend. Eating habits as well, we have to stick to healthy habits to be able to perform properly.
Improvements on our bodies, both physically and mentally. We have to be stronger on both parts. Commitment is really important.”
Selina Ripley echoed her teammates remarks by saying, “ It’s really hard right now.
Commitment and its hard with early morning training. Its really hard, the trainings are really intense and the trainings are really hard right now. Botswanna is really big international tournament.”
The girls understand that their goal is not just to make the team but also to be role models for girls who aspire to play netball at the national level.
Gafua said, “We’re not only trying to get fitter but we also want to lift the Samoan standard for local girls.”
“As you can see, there are only three of us available. There used to be seven but the commitment wasn’t there.
Which is why us three are trying to lift the standard because basically right now, its all overseas based players that are filling fir the Samoan teams, which is why we want to change that and tell the girls here in Samoa that we can actually be just as good as them.”
It’s back in the gym for these three to prepare for trials that will be held in Samoa