Cromwell College student selected in NZ Secondary Schools team

May 04, 2023

A Cromwell teenager has been selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools netball team.

Sixteen-year-old Grace Tiko, a Year 11 pupil at Cromwell College, will tour Australia with the team later this year.

Her selection is subject to a fitness test.

The team will travel to Australia from June 27 to July 3 to take part in the under-19 Australian camp, providing some vital international play for the first time in three years due to the global pandemic.

Team coach Pelesa Semu, who will coach the 14-strong side with assistant Jo Morrison, says announcing the team is just another step towards getting New Zealand’s best secondary school netballers back on the competitive netball court.

“We have been waiting a long time to get to this point of naming our side and it’s a really exciting time for us.

“Our opportunities to head overseas for international play has been severely impacted in recent years due to Covid. I don’t think we can underestimate the importance of this pathway when we look at the bigger picture of high performance netball in New Zealand."

Semu said it had been a thorough process leading up to the team announcement which had started last year with regional tournaments, National Development Camps in January and this month’s trials.

“History shows a number of New Zealand’s elite players having started their netball journey with the New Zealand Secondary Schools team, so we recognise the important work we have to do with this special group of schoolgirl netballers.”

In a Facebook post this week, the Cromwell school says it is 'punching above its weight', with two other pupils announced as national representatives alongside Grace.

Thirteen-year-old Shyla Mulholland will represent New Zealand at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 2023 World Championships to be held in Texas in July, while 11-year-old Jono Hansen has been selected for the New Zealand BMX Mighty Elevens team to compete in Australia.


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