Black Fern vis­its Waipa¯ schools with prized World Cup tro­phy

Waipa Post - - News - BY BETHANY ROLSTON

Waipa¯ schools were treated to a visit from Black Ferns prop Toka Natua on Thurs­day.

Toka, 26, dropped in to Te Awa­mutu Col­lege and Cam­bridge High School to show off a spe­cial tro­phy and pro­mote women’s rugby.

The vis­its were part of a na­tional tour show­cas­ing the tro­phy, named ‘Nancy’, earned in New Zea­land’s win over Eng­land in the fi­nal of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

That suc­cess and the rise of sevens has given the women’s game a boost.

The team named the cup af­ter New Zea­land-born World War II British spe­cial op­er­a­tions ex­ec­u­tive agent Nancy Wake.

The visit to the Te Awa­mutu Col­lege came as a big sur­prise to the group of 19 from the Girls 1st XV.

Toka shared rugby sto­ries and spoke to the group about con­fi­dence.

“When I was at school play­ing rugby, I was the sort of girl who would walk off the field clean,” Toku said.

“But I soon learned how to be more con­fi­dent and get stuck into the game.”

Toku said the en­cour­age­ment from her fam­ily helped her self­es­teem to de­velop over time.

“My fam­ily al­ways taught me to go out there and give it my best.

“I learned not to be scared of my opposition — no mat­ter how fast or big she was.”

Toku said her own self­con­fi­dence was a work in progress. She told the group men­tal strength was just as im­por­tant as phys­i­cal strength.

“You can be the fittest and the strong­est, but if you don’t be­lieve in your­self you’ll go nowhere.”

Toka shared her ex­pe­ri­ence of com­pet­ing in the fi­nal of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ire­land.

She said it was at times in­tim­i­dat­ing to be up against other coun­tries, but that “stand­ing proud” was the key to suc­cess.

“It’s so im­por­tant to be proud of who you are and where you come from.”

Toka, orig­i­nally from Toko­roa, made her de­but for the Black Ferns in 2015 against Canada.

WP220518BR01

Black Ferns prop Toka Natua (cen­tre) with the Te Awa­mutu Col­lege Girls 1st XV and the tro­phy earned in New Zea­land’s win in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup fi­nal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.