Monday 30: Cooks team will showcase during CI Games
The draw to determine the pools for the 2009 World Youth Netball Championships was completed at the recent meeting of IFNA, the international netball federation, in Los Angeles.
The top four teams – namely New Zealand, Australia, England and Jamaica – were the only seeded teams and the rest were drawn out of a hat. Fortunately the hat was reasonably kind to the Cooks team, being drawn in Pool B with Australia, Malaysia, Wales and Vanuatu.
Teresa Tairi, coach of the Cook Islands team, has said that their approach will be to “take one game at a time” with their focus being on their own performance, rather than that of their opponents.
The other pools are:
Pool A: New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados.
Pool C: England, Fiji, Botswana, Samoa, South Africa.
Pool D: Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Malawi, Singapore, USA.
When asked about progress of the Cook Islands team, Teresa said, “The biggest challenge at the moment is blending the NZ and Australian styles of play to compliment each other and not detract in what both styles have to offer. Timing and technique play a huge part in their delivery and confidence in one another”.
Terminology also differs, she says. For example, what we call a “pass and cut” the Australian players call a “double lead or double play” so it is important that all players understand these terms so there is no confusion on court.
There has been one change to the squad since selections, with the withdrawal of mid courter Teiva Maui due to a very serious knee injury sustained at the January trials. Unfortunately this has not improved and appears to be considerably more serious than originally thought. Teiva has been replaced by a New Zealand based player, Rhiannon Devlin. It is expected that the squad of 15 will be reduced to a final team of 12 some time in May.
The Cook Islands team will be in Rarotonga for the Cook Islands Games on April 7-11, playing in a tri-series with the Pacific Mini Games team, and a Rarotonga under 21 team. This will be a great chance to get along and check out our team and show your support.
While they are here, our Host Hotel, Edgewater Resort and Spa will be hosting a fundraiser dinner for the girls which promises to be a night to remember. We will have more information on that soon. - KH