If only Mum­could be here for this

Sunday News - - NEWS - MARC HIN­TON

SOME­WHERE up above, a proud mum must have been burst­ing with pride.

It’s a year and a-half since for­mer Sil­ver Fern net­baller Ta­nia Dal­ton was so cru­elly taken from this world, at the age of 45, after col­laps­ing from a brain aneurysm dur­ing a game of touch.

But her spirit un­doubt­edly lives on. How else can you ex­plain the re­mark­able sport­ing feats in Auck­land this week of 15-year-old Tayla, the old­est of the three Dal­ton children left be­hind to sol­dier on un­der the guid­ance of dad Duane.

Like her mother be­fore, Tayla at­tends Carmel Col­lege on Auck­land’s North Shore, and like her mother she is an ex­tra­or­di­nary sport­ing tal­ent.

Tayla has had a busy week to say the least, rep­re­sent­ing Carmel in both the upper North Is­land sec­ondary schools net­ball tour­na­ment and in the zone 1 sec­ondary schools re­gional pre­mier­ships in bas­ket­ball. She’s also a very good surf life­saver.

Her pre­ferred code is bas­ket­ball, and on Fri­day she scored 116 points in two games.

Tayla is modest about her achieve­ments – ‘‘I don’t re­ally think about the points, I just play the game‘‘. But she does noth­ing in sport with­out her mother’s spir­i­tual guid­ance.

‘‘I think about her a lot. She would be lov­ing that we’ve kept go­ing with our sport which is good.’’

Younger broth­ers Char­lie, 12, and Matty, 9, are also promis­ing young hoop­sters, and al­ready pledg­ing to fol­low in big sis­ter’s foot­steps. ‘‘Matty said to me this morn­ing, ‘Tayla I’m so jeal­ous of you, I want to be play­ing bas­ket­ball all week’. He’s a real up and comer.’’

It’s been a spe­cial week for a very spe­cial young woman.

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