Here’s the full excerpt:
1.How are your training sessions looking leading up to the games?
Short: Training is awesome, the intensity is very high, it is physically and mentally challenging at times, but we are being supported, encouraged, motivated and pushed as a team with our key focuses and goal in mind.
2.Where do you think your team is now in terms of how ready you are for the games? And what about yourself personally
Short: We have a few injuries and niggles to cater for, but we are physically and mentally strong, we are trying to work as hard as we can and must maximise the time left until Pacific Games starts. We are getting there, it really is just fine tuning our individual work on’s and trying to gel as a team to maintain and strengthen our on court structures. Personally, there is always room to improve, to get better, stronger, faster, but I believe in my team and know we will give it 100 per cent.
3.What does it mean to you as an athlete to represent your team and country?
Short: It is a huge honour and privilege to wear that green dress. We are so blessed to be given this opportunity, and there was so much planning, management and time invested into making this happen, so we hope we can make our families and our nation proud.
4.What challenges, if any, have you run into as a team along the way?
Short: The constraint of not having everyone in the same country is a challenge; we don’t get to train as a full team and have had two training camps together. Our local based players have our assistant coach to train us, and we have each other – whereas the other girls are spread out in New Zealand and one in Australia – training can be difficult when you are by yourself especially when it comes to court specific work. Fortunately we have a communication channel that keeps us accountable and is an amazing platform to encourage, motivate and be there for each other despite the distance that separates us.
5.What do you think about your current team’s chemistry and state?
Short: We have an amazing team dynamic; everyone is so enthusiastic, supportive, loving, driven, focused and passionate about our goal and key focuses. We are so fortunate to have the leadership and management that we do, as well as all those who are supportive and are working hard behind the scenes to allow us to get to put everything we have on the court.
6.What are your team’s strengths and weaknesses so far?
Short: We have a mix of new players and experienced, as well as amazing leadership. Our management team are former Black Pearl players, and are so driven and passionate and have been in our shoes – so they know what it takes to get us where we need to be. We are hungry to improve the ranking of the Cook Islands and try and get back to where it used to be. Weaknesses? No weaknesses, only room for improvement, we are always working on trying to “get better”.
7.What are you most looking forward to?
Short: Playing on court with our sisters, and putting all our hard work into action, also seeing what we are capable of.
8.Compared to previous teams that you have been a part of, what do you think stands out the most about this one?
Short: That’s tough, for this team it is the passion that each individual portrays. One of the first things our coach said to us was to “engage our hearts and minds” that we must work together as “one”, and keep getting better. We have a clear purpose and goal in mind, and when you work together cohesively, and love what you do, you can do great things.
9.Do you have any advice for any aspiring youth that hope to represent Team Cook Islands in the future?
Grab every opportunity that comes your way! Set your goals, and keep working towards them. Believe in yourself, and you must do the hard yards if you want to succeed – do your preseason training, put those daily shots up, do you runs etc. Preparation prevents poor performance – that goes for anything in life – school, at home, in sports.
10. Do you have any closing thoughts or comments – maybe a word for your supporters?
I would like express our gratitude to everyone that has made this journey possible – Netball Cook Islands, our coaches and management, our trainers, families, employers and all those encouraging and supporting us on this journey – thank you so much and god bless you all.
Go team Cook Islands!