Faith­ful sup­porter re­warded

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

He’s a dy­namo on the net­ball court side­lines, has bags of team spirit and wears his uni­form with pride.

The Whitby Waves’ mas­cot, black labrador King, was re­warded for his con­tri­bu­tion to the se­nior team’s col­le­giate 5 win this sea­son with an Os­car for ‘‘best sup­port­ing dog’’, an hon­our he also won in 2011.

‘‘He’s got a great pos­i­tive at­ti­tude. We don’t ever see that tail stop wag­ging,’’ says King’s owner and Whitby Waves cen­tre Bronte John­ston, 13.

‘‘He’s a hit with the team and spec­ta­tors alike and lets out the odd bark which we as­sume means ‘awe­some shot’ or ‘great pass’.’’

Four-year-old King is such a net­ball fan that it’s some­times hard to keep him off the court dur­ing games, Bronte says.

When the team got their uni­forms last year it was nat­u­ral for King to have a jacket to match, em­broi­dered with the team’s logo, she says.

He trained as a guide dog when he was a puppy so is used to wear­ing a coat, she says.

The Whitby Waves club was formed in 2011 when Bronte and her friend Han­nah Bilder­beck were year 8 students at Sa­muel Mars­den Whitby and had no school net­ball team to join. Their mums Sandi John­ston and San­dra Bilder­beck re­alised there was a huge need

for an in­ter- me­di­ate-age net­ball team in the sub­urb.

‘‘As soon as we said what we were do­ing, that was it, we had a team,’’ Mrs John­ston says.

This year, the orig­i­nal team has moved up to the year 9/10 level, and an­other group of boys and girls has formed the ju­nior squad.

The se­niors have had a stel­lar sea­son, mov­ing up from col­le­giate 8 to col­le­giate 5 early on, then win­ning their grade in a 32-21 fi­nal against St Mary’s Col­lege.

The team was beaten only four times the whole win­ter, and for one of those games had only six play­ers on the court.

King will nat­u­rally sup­port the se­nior Waves in 2013, but may have a com­peti­tor for the Os­car – the ju­nior team has also adopted a ca­nine mas­cot, golden retriever Kaia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.