Rongokea makes the final cut

Wednesday March 08, 2017 Written by Published in Netball
The players who turned up for the fi nal national Under-21 netball trials in Auckland, New Zealand. 17030719 The players who turned up for the fi nal national Under-21 netball trials in Auckland, New Zealand. 17030719

Rarotonga-based Daimzel Rongokea is the only locally based player in the Cook Islands Under-21 team to the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana in July this year.


The 15-year-old Arorangi Flames player is one of 12 girls from across Australia and New Zealand that have been selected in the final squad.

The national team coached by John Glassie was announced after the second camp in Auckland, New Zealand about a fortnight ago.

“These camps have been vital in bringing their determination and enthusiasm to the court,” Netball Cook Islands said in a statement.

“In addition to the squad, two other local girls were invited to join the camp – Nicole Marurai and Christina Areai.  Both girls hail from the Tupapa Maraerenga Netball Club, and are currently on netball scholarships at One Tree Hill College in Auckland, New Zealand.”

Netball Cook Islands said skills and knowledge played a major role in development of elite athletes.  

“The Rarotonga-based players have learned much from their New Zealand and Australian counterparts at these camps, experiencing a higher level of play.

 “Nicole and Christina were grateful for the chance to experience first-hand what was expected, in order to meet the standard of play at that level. 

“Coach John Glassie, with his wealth of experience and knowledge, can see their natural talent and potential, and is working with the two on basic skills ranging from court structure, attacking and defending, and finding space. 

“Nicole and Christina will participate in the next two camps to continue their development with the team.”

Netball Cook Islands added exposure at this level would give the local-based players the opportunity to become strong candidates for future national squads.  The national governing body said it was important for them and the Rarotonga netball clubs to continue to engage and support the junior players throughout their netball development. 

Netball Cook Islands has a multi-pronged approach, with plans to support and upskill the coaches in Rarotonga and the Pa Enua, with a goal to raise their level to that comparable of New Zealand and Australia. 

It also wants to upskill the umpires to international standards, and provide netball equipment to schools and clubs. 

“Grassroots support is essential for success, and NCI is looking forward to working with the community to raise our standard of play.”

            - Rashneel Kumar/Release

Cook Islands U21: Alex Iro (Auckland) – Titikaveka, Ashley Dixon (Auckland) – Arorangi, Celeste Patutama (Auckland) – Arorangi, Chantal Tikitau  (Cairns) – Titikaveka, Daimzel Rongokea (Rarotonga) – Arorangi, Hinemoa Mehau (Perth) – Arorangi, Maria Milani (Auckland) – Aitutaki, Mary Tuaana (Brisbane) – Arorangi, Moana Glassie (Brisbane) – Aitutaki, Nina-Tai Roberts (Auckland) – Mangaia, Rochelle Teiri (Auckland) – Arorangi, Tetania Ooariki (Auckland) – Arorangi.

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