Event calls for top teams
A record 63 schools from the wider Auckland region will take part in the upcoming New Zealand Community Trust Aims Games.
Mt Albert’s Marist College is one of 20 schools competing for the first time at the games hosted in Tauranga.
The school team will take part in tennis, netball and cross country over the week which sees 17 sporting codes represented.
Marist physical education teacher Sanet Bircham will accompany the girls on their trip and thinks the tournament will be a great experience for the team.
‘‘It is quite a sought after competition and being part of a secondary school and not an independent intermediate we don’t always go to the intermediate school events so we thought we would join this year.’’
The Aims Games gives 11, 12 and 13-year-olds an opportunity to compete as an individual or in a team against the best of their age.
The 11th annual games will be the biggest yet with more than 200 schools competing nationwide and some joining from Australia.
Netball star Irene Van Dyk and Commonwealth Games gold medallists Sam Webster and Lauren Boyle will help open the championship, while an impressive roll call of former sporting stars will be on the sidelines during the week helping coaches and managers with the teams.
‘‘It provides the girls with an opportunity to compete at a high level and not just compete in your local environment,’’ Bircham says.
Netballer and cross country runner Katjana Grgicevich is looking forward to it.
‘‘I think the bonding will be cool and just having fun and trying to win it,’’ she says.
Teammate Jessica Nootai believes Marist College has a good shot at taking home the spoils at the games.
‘‘I think we should get close to the final and maybe even win it all.’’
Of course the most important thing is the kids have fun, something that Bircham thinks is guaranteed.
‘‘I know the girls will have a great time and love the experience of being in a team and working together toward a common goal.’’