In conjunction with High Wire Charitable Trust of Auckland (HWCT), a new player’s scholarship will give five Cook Islands players the chance to live and train in New Zealand for six months alongside five netballers from Samoa.
This new programme will see former Silver Fern and current Central Pulse defender Sulu Fitzpatrick mentor and manage the learning outcomes for the netball ambassadors. It will also include assistance from current Northern Stars mid-courter and a member of the champion New Zealand under-21 side that won the World Youth Championship title in Botswanna last year, Fa’amu Ioane.
NCI president Mii Maui said: “HWCT has been a sponsor of the Cook Islands National Team for the past two years and NCI is honoured and privileged to be invited to take part in this inaugural initiative.
“This new partnership is a great fit because Netball Cook Islands shares HWCT’s passion for advancing women's sport and the belief that women should be able to achieve at the highest possible level in whatever they choose to do.
Having Cook Island players involved in this initiative would help to improve the level of netball for not only the national team, but also the next generation of players, Maui said.
“Not only will this initiative give our girls the experience of a lifetime, shadowing the life of an elite netball player, it will also open up a pathway of elite learning that will only be of benefit to our future netballers of the Cook Islands.
“It only takes one small change to make bigger changes and this is one solid step to improving Cook Islands status in the Pacific and World Netball arena.”
NCI are asking interested applicants to contact Mii Maui for eligibility criteria and for further information before June 29.
The scholarship is for six months starting in September this year. It will end in February 2019.