Samoans on scholarship thriving
Five Samoan netballers, who won scholarships to train in New Zealand, are improving their skills and team connections on and off the court.
David Hopkins, the organiser of the scholarship fund supporting the five Samoan netballers to live and train in Auckland, said the netballers are progressing well after three weeks and there has been an improvement in their netball skills and team cohesion.
The first week was spent at the High Wire Charitable Trust headquarters with the girls getting stuck into their SELO bookwork and netball training.
Looking back at their progress over the last three weeks, Mr. Hopkins said the girls arrived with their Cook Islands colleagues and have embraced all that the program has to offer.
“Girls arrived from Samoa and Cook Islands ready to take on a new challenge. They were all positive in taking on any team challenges and training, and it was awesome getting to build a strong foundation as a team as all girls opted to stay together in a camp unit.
“Tasked with daily cooking, bonding, fitness and devotion, girls were all clear that their focus in coming to New Zealand was to gain netball and life skills and independence,” he said.
There has also been a marked improvement in the girls’ mental toughness with Mr Hopkins indicating that he saw that after a week.
“An improvement in mental toughness was evident already after a week, and girls also ran a session for Redhill Primary School, where the children really enjoyed the energy and engagement they were given.”
In the third week, the netballers welcomed peers from Tonga, before they took on a New Zealand secondary school team. They also passed a first aid course with flying colours and the week ended with a special assembly at Redhill Primary School, where they joined and participated in the children’s cultural performances.