Netball trio going places
Netball could take three Porirua girls many places, but the Mungavin courts will always be home.
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Colleen Faleafaga and Jermaine HowardVallance were recently named among 24 trialists for the New Zealand secondary schools netball squad. Just 12 will make the final cut after trials in Auckland in April.
The trio are the only players from the Wellington region to make the final 24.
They are proud of their Norths club and Porirua background, even if they do their schooling in Wellington.
‘‘ We’ve been juniors out on these courts since [we were in] year 7,’’ midcourter ReueluBuchanan said.
‘‘It’s our club and we always love playing here.
‘‘We grew up on these courts; it’s what we know.’’
They are confident of making the secondary schools team, but not cocky.
All see it is another step in their netball careers, which they are fully committed to, on top of busy academic pressure as year 12 students.
They would dearly hope to follow in the footsteps of fellow Norths player Whitney Souness, who last year was the first player from Porirua since 2007 to make the secondary schools’ squad.
‘‘We all have good chances to make it, but it’s going to be very competitive,’’ said Faleafaga, a goal defence or goal keep.
If named, they will get the chance to test themselves against Australia in May.
Although netball is a winter sport, they have been putting in the hours this summer, doing fitness work and training with special ‘‘netball mentors’’.
Reuelu-Buchanan has had to put burgeoning representative touch rugby duties on the
‘‘You have to make backburner. sacrifices.
‘‘Your next opponent could be out there, training twice as hard, so you need to keep working,’’ she said.
Howard- Vallance, who plays goal shoot or goal attack, said they relied on financial and moral support from their families, and could not achieve what they had without them.
Budding stars: From left, Norths netball players Colleen Faleafaga, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Jermaine Howard-Vallance will be vying for national honours in April.