Old-school ways still serve Roa
Cathy Roa, netballer tournament organiser extraordinaire, is old school.
‘‘I use paper, and that’s hard for people to understand,’’ she said.
‘‘But doing it on a computer means things like the different age groups, number of courts, umpires and other things might not be taken into consideration. People call me to help out now and again for a tournament, and I will still do it on paper.’’
Roa has been involved in the sport for more than 48 years, as a player on the Mungavin courts, then as a coach and administrator with Kapi Mana and Netball Central Zone.
Although she had a paid position with the Central Pulse until recently, much of her dedication to netball has been of the volunteer variety.
That included unlocking changing rooms, sweeping courts and stepping in as a club umpire when there were no-shows.
‘‘I love this sport, it’s all I’ve known. When I was growing up, it was hockey or netball and I liked my shins too much to play hockey.’’
Roa received a Porirua 50th medal last year for her service to her sport in this city.
‘‘My first thought was, ‘Who did this to me?’ I have to admit it’s pretty cool. For most of us [medal recipients], we’re doing stuff in the community because we love it and there is satisfaction in making things happen.
‘‘Volunteers have become more important, but a few years ago there was an expectation among the older members of sports clubs that the young ones coming through would take over. It’s just what happened.’’
Roa has lived in the same house in Elsdon since she moved there from the Hutt Valley aged 2.
She said she was glad there was a drive to revitalise the city centre, because it was her focal point growing and attending St Pius X and Bishop Viard College.
‘‘Everyone had family members who worked at Olympic Stationery, Kodak, Todd Motors or in town.
‘‘I worked at every pharmacy but one over the years, and the CBD was a hub where everyone met. I watched breakdancers outside the post office on a Thursday night. It was brilliant.’’
She was appointed manager of Porirua Healthy Safer City Trust last year and said she was enjoying connecting with the community outside netball.
Cathy Roa with Porirua mayor Nick Leggett at last October’s 50th anniversary dinner.