Net­baller’s legacy lives on

Dalton Foun­da­tion hol­i­day sports pro­gramme starts

The Northern Advocate - - Front Page -

Api­lot school hol­i­day pro­gramme aimed at build­ing strong sport­ing val­ues, re­silience and con­fi­dence in in­ter­me­di­ate-aged girls has been rolled out in Whanga¯rei.

The Ta­nia Dalton Foun­da­tion, set up in hon­our of the late Sil­ver Fern net­baller and re­spected sport­ing per­son­al­ity, en­abled 20 girls from Whanga¯rei schools to take part in the three-day pro­gramme.

Par­tic­i­pants in the pi­lot scheme were from Manaia View and Whanga¯rei In­ter­me­di­ate schools.

The ac­tiv­i­ties were based out of the ASB Sta­dium and in­cluded cricket, net­ball, spin class and ta­ble ten­nis.

Iz­abelle Kaka, 12, looked faintly sur­prised when the re­porter asked if she was en­joy­ing day two of the pro­gramme.

“Of course, I ab­so­lutely love it,” Iz­abelle said.

She likes sports in gen­eral and plays rugby for the Ho­ra­hora club and net­ball for her school, Whanga¯rei In­ter­me­di­ate. Rugby is her favourite and she hopes to join the Black Ferns one day.

The way to get there, she said, is to keep prac­tis­ing, no mat­ter how much nat­u­ral tal­ent a per­son has. “The more you prac­tise, the more you im­prove.”

As well as try­ing out dif­fer­ent ex­er­cises and sports, the Ta­nia Dalton pro­gramme en­abled Iz­abelle to see in­side a gym and use some equip­ment that was new to her.

“This is my first time in spin and I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it. I’d en­cour­age other kids to get in­volved with this pro­gramme.

“It’s fun, it’s healthy — and the food is re­ally good!”

Her school net­ball team­mate, Ay­vah McClug­gage, 11, is equally thrilled to be there.

“I’m here be­cause I have a pas­sion for sports, mainly net­ball,” Ay­vah said. “I wanted to try all the dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties. I know Ta­nia Dalton was a net­ball leg­end so I’m quite proud and very grate­ful to have this chance.”

Her favourite ac­tiv­ity — half­way through the pro­gramme, at least — had been learn­ing to play cricket, and how to bowl. It helped that the ses­sion ended with par­tic­i­pants be­ing given a nice bag of good­ies.

“But I like to try new things and I did like the cricket,” Ay­vah said.

Pro­gramme co­or­di­na­tor Ant Hyde said Dalton, who died in 2017, was a firm be­liever in the val­ues of sport.

The foun­da­tion wants the three-day hol­i­day pro­grammes to teach 11 to 13-year-old girls the power of re­silience, to win or lose gra­ciously, and to put team be­fore self. There were 40 ap­pli­ca­tions for the 20 places in the pro­gramme held dur­ing the se­cond week of the school holidays. Sport coaches and school staff helped make the cut. One is­sue iden­ti­fied early on had been that many par­tic­i­pants could not get to the pro­gramme. Hyde said that was sim­ply re­solved when he hired a mini-bus and picked them up each day. It is now hoped the pro­gramme will be rolled out na­tion­wide, fore­most for girls from low­erdecile schools who would oth­er­wise have lim­ited ac­cess to a range of sports.

Photo / Ta­nia Whyte

Kyra-Jane Epiha, 11, does the spin class at the Ta­nia Dalton Foun­da­tion hol­i­day pro­gramme.

Photo / File

The Ta­nia Dalton Foun­da­tion, set up to hon­our the for­mer Sil­ver Fern who died in 2017, funded the net­ball hol­i­day pro­gramme.

Iz­abelle Kaka, left, and Ay­vah McClug­gage at the Ta­nia Dalton Foun­da­tion pi­lot pro­gramme.

Lindy Laird

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