On Wednesday 6th August 80 excited but somewhat nervous students boarded the buses for an overnight sports exchange with New Plymouth Girls High School. Many of our girls have not had the opportunity to have an exchange where they are billeted with host families and there was certainly a high degree of trepidation about the prospect.
On arriving at New Plymouth we were welcomed into their Stadium. As we were a little early, we had to wait for our host families to arrive and the nervousness of our girls was evident. They sat wide eyed, silent, in close contact with each other. Their fears were soon put to rest as many were billeted in pairs and threes and that the students they were staying with were friendly young woman. Much to the Director of Sport, Maree McCarthy’s relief the number that the girls were given to call if there were any problems remained silent which was a great sign. The girls arrived at school on Thursday morning with reports of how fantastic it was, how nice their families were, how welcomed they felt and of new friendships they had established evidenced by added friends on Facebook, Instagram and a variety of other social networks.
The teams were all playing in different venues so they boarded buses and set off to each of these.
Premier Reserve Netball and Senior Basketball were up first. Premier Netball rose to the occasion and directed play from the first quarter. They worked the ball down the court efficiently and their shooting was the best of their season to date. They came away with the win 35-27. Senior Premier Basketball put on a challenging performance. They played one of their strongest games of the season and pushed New Plymouth Girls in each and every quarter with the lead changing frequently throughout. When the final hooter sounded New Plymouth Girls’ took the match 66-60. 1st XI Hockey and 1st XI Football were the next teams to take their fields. Hockey also had a very strong performance showing their potential and this match was certainly a great build up to Winter Tournament. Whilst a 1-1 draw, the girls’ were proud of their performance, considering that NPGHS play three tournaments above HGHS. Football continued their winning form and although the pitch was a little smaller than a regular pitch they were able to use it to their advantage and control the game with a 3-0 win
Our 10 A Netball team were bursting with vim and vigour as they took the court. Their defensive play made it difficult at times for HGHS to off-load and NPGHS capitalised on a few handling errors. 10 A fought in every quarter to come back, on this occasion they were out-played by a slick NPGHS side who won 37-16.
Premier Netball were the next to battle it out. The NPGHS team were exceptional in the shooting circle and their 6 foot 4 inch Goal Keeper was able to send any rebounds back down the court. To our credit our GS and GA came up with strategies to work around her height. We were also strong in the defensive circle. New Plymouth won the match 35-14.
Our hopes of drawing the first exchange rested on the shoulders of the Junior Premier Basketball Team which was a tight match. Leading into the final quarter we were one point down so our hopes were very much still alive. NPGHS had a decisive final quarter with the final result 51-41.
We all returned to NPGHS for presentations and final farewells. It was a fantastic Exchange with challenging opposition and all aspects of it will certainly help our girls to develop and grow, we look forward to hosting NPGHS in 2015.
The following students received awards, as nominated by the NPGHS teams.
Senior Basketball Fairplay Award - Zarya Poulava
Senior Basketball Athlete of the Day Award - Alyssa Hirawani
Junior Basketball Fairplay Award - Mackenzie Higham
Junior Basketball Athlete of the Day Award - Tara Kailahi
1st XI Football Fairplay Award - Jamie Foster
1st XI Football Athlete of the Day Award - Stephanie Cox
1st XI Hockey Fairplay Award - Libby Clement
1st XI Hockey Athlete of the Day Award - Olivia Scotland
Premier Reserve Netball Fairplay Award - Brooke Baldwin
Premier Reserve Netball Athlete of the Day Award - Finnlee Iti
Premier Netball Fairplay Award - Kahurangi Kihi-Simon
Premier Netball Athlete of the Day Award - India Fletcher
Junior Netball Fairplay Award - Maddison Matai’a
Junior Netball Athlete of the Day Award - Kahlee Norton