North Taranaki Midweek

Mason surprised at Tall Ferns call-up


Former New Plymouth Girls’ High School student Parris Mason is destined to represent New Zealand in two sports codes.

Already a promising netballer, where Mason was part of the championsh­ip winning Central Pulse team in the ANZ Premiershi­p this year and a New Zealand Under-21 representa­tive, the 19-year-old has been named in the Tall Ferns basketball squad for an upcoming tour of Australia.

‘‘It was definitely a surprise,’’ Mason told One News last week.

‘‘It’s always a privilege to be able to represent the country, so I’m super-excited for it.’’

The squad will assemble in Melbourne on October 12 before playing four matches against Australian women’s national basketball teams the Southside Flyers, Melbourne Boomers and Bendigo Spirit twice.

‘‘It’s pretty cool that I got selected for this campaign.’’

Mason finished her year 12 and 13 at Palmerston North’s Manukura School to chase her sporting dreams.

Playing multiple codes is nothing new for her after she represente­d New Zealand in basketball, netball and touch rugby at age-group levels.

She was part of the New Zealand Under-17 basketball team that won silver at the 2019 FIBA Oceania Championsh­ips in New Caledonia.

It was her netball attributes, including being a 184cm in-circle defender and assisting the Tokomanawa Queens to this year’s Tauihi League (women’s basketball competitio­n) title, that led her to selection.

Tall Ferns assistant coach Mel Downer said basketball and netball share similariti­es like seeing and using space and passing into it.

‘‘Parris in particular does a really great job at that,’’ Downer said.

Mason told Newsroom in June being able to be involved in both sports is a big part of her life and would love to do both for as long as she can.

While she can juggle the two for now with the support from the Central Pulse, her future seems to be on the netball court.

‘‘I would really love to have a good Pulse season, so after the Ferns campaign I’m just going to be very netball focused for a bit,’’ she said.

‘‘But I definitely have basketball at the back of my mind, knowing that it’s an opportunit­y to go to further events in basketball.’’

If Mason represents New Zealand at netball, she will join Belinda Colling and Donna Wilkins, who were dualintern­ationals in both codes in the mid-1990s and early 2000s.

- This content has been brought to you by Sport News Taranaki.


The internatio­nally recognised Festival of Lights will return to Pukekura Park on Saturday, December 17.

The festival, which attracts more than 150,000 visitors to the park over a five-week period, with almost half of them from outside the New Plymouth district, was cancelled last year due to Covid-19 restrictio­ns.

It costs $700,000 to stage but contribute­s millions to the region’s economy.

A feature of this year’s festival will be 13 new installati­ons, including Evanescent, a creation of immersive bubbles designed by Sydney’s Atelier Sisu whose work has featured across the world.

Following the success of the Winter Pop-Up festival, which attracted 15,000 people into New Plymouth’s central business district, organisers have also decided to take the Festival of Lights on tour to Waitara and Inglewood, although those dates have yet to be finalised.

This year’s Festival of Lights will stretch across a 3km route through Pukekura Park and will run through until Sunday, January 22.

The festival won two awards at this year’s New Zealand Event Associatio­n Awards, including Best Local Government Event and New Zealand’s Favourite Event for the 2020/21 season.

The annual Christmas at the Bowl will be held a day after the opening of the festival and also returns after being cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic restrictio­ns.

New Plymouth District Council community and customer services manager Teresa Turner said the festival would also feature stage entertainm­ent, family friendly events and food and refreshmen­t areas.

‘‘It was definitely a surprise. It’s always a privilege to be able to represent the country, so I’m super-excited for it.’’ Parris Mason

 ?? SUPPLIED ?? A new feature of the Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park will be Evanescent designed by Sydney’s Atelier Sisu.
SUPPLIED A new feature of the Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park will be Evanescent designed by Sydney’s Atelier Sisu.
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand