Islanders lapping up AIMS Games experience

The Waiheke Island netball team has exceeded all expectations at their first trip to the NZCT AIMS Games in Tauranga. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media
The Waiheke Island netball team has exceeded all expectations at their first trip to the NZCT AIMS Games in Tauranga. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media
The Waiheke Island netball team has exceeded all expectations at their first trip to the NZCT AIMS Games in Tauranga. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media

 

by Te Ahua Maitland

Wintec Journalism student

 

Some would say the Waiheke High School netball team go the extra mile for the love of the game.

Most Saturday mornings, you’ll catch the team boarding the first ferry from their Auckland Harbour home to compete in the Howick/Pakuranga championship.

Once the game is played, it’s back on the afternoon ferry for the trip home.

Although people think the weekly hour-long trip is dedication, the girls say it is all they’ve ever known.

Captain Alice Hailstone said most of the team ride the ferry three times a week for games, representative netball training and tournaments.

“There’s no early morning Sunday ferry before our rep tournaments so we have to catch the Saturday ferry and stay with friends or family in Auckland,” she said.

“We’re used to it.”

This year the team swapped a ferry for a mini van and ventured down to the Bay of Plenty.

For the first time, the team are competing at this year’s NZCT AIMS Games in Tauranga.

To get to the games, the team fundraised, selling $2 raffles on the ferry. Local businesses donated items and enough money was raised to help towards the tournament costs.

Hailstone said the girls are enjoying their experience.

“It’s been really good – we’ve all been really impressed with the organisation and whole tournament,” she said. “It’s been really smooth.”

Despite a one-goal loss to Matamata Intermediate, the team have won all other games, which qualified them into the top-16 division.

“Our goal is to finish in the single digits,” Hailstone said.

Coach Shelley Robson said she was impressed with the girls’ first time efforts.

“They’ve done awesome – I am so proud.”

The tournament showcases 96 Year 7 and Year 8 netball teams from around New Zealand.

Once competition ends, it’s back up to Auckland, then catching the ferry back across to home.