Pupil in Thai squad

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A Porirua Col­lege girl’s love of smash­ing a vol­ley­ball has scored her a trip to Thai­land to bat­tle among the world’s best ju­nior sportswomen.

Camilla Time-Tao­tua, 16, is the youngest mem­ber of the 12-strong New Zealand women’s un­der-19 squad, which is head­ing to the Asian Ju­nior Women’s Cham­pi­onships in Nakhon Pathom to­mor­row for a fort­night, fac­ing the world’s top vol­ley­ball teams.

The 1.85 me­tre, year 12 stu­dent vis­ited Aus­tralia last year with the na­tional un­der- 17 team, but says Thai­land will be a dif­fer­ent league. ‘‘It’s way up there.’’ Time-Tao­tua, who plays out­side hit­ter and op­po­site, was se­lected for the un­der 19s at a sec­ondary schools’ tour­na­ment in Palmer­ston North in March, where she was named player of the tour­na­ment and best spiker – her favourite part of the game.

‘‘You get to re­ally smash it,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s a pas­sion for me. Some­times I just want to hit the ball.’’

Time- Tao­tua is also a net­baller and bas­ket­baller. She took up vol­ley­ball in year 9, and aims to rep­re­sent New Zealand in se­nior grades. She gets a real kick out of putting on the New Zealand uni­form and can’t wait to don it in Thai­land.

‘‘ It’ll be like wear­ing Cory Jane’s top.’’

Mak­ing the un­der-19 squad in Palmer­ston North wasn’t easy for her – and she was awed by the tal­ent sur­round­ing her.

‘‘It was re­ally hard, the girls from Tau­ranga were all tal­ented and it was hard for me to stand out for the coaches.’’

For­mer Kiwi coach Jonita Mau­fua has been boost­ing her per­for­mance for Thai­land, and the squad is work­ing well in prac­tices, Time-Tao­tua says.

Aside from train­ing hard for her school team, her Welling­ton cen­tral league team and the un­der-19s, as well as school­work and coach­ing Porirua Col­lege ju­nior bas­ket­ball, Time-Tao­tua has fundraised a large chunk of the $4000 needed for her trip.

Porirua Col­lege sports co­or­di­na­tor Rachel Fale­maka says coaches at se­lec­tions were amazed at Time-Tao­tua’s skill and her at­ti­tude.

‘‘The coaches found her to be a very thought­ful girl, very easy to work with.’’

Net worth: Porirua Col­lege vol­ley­baller Camilla Time-Tao­tua, 16, heads to Thai­land to­mor­row to rep­re­sent New Zealand be­side play­ers two years her se­nior.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.