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- National Squads
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In the lead up to the ninth edition of the Nations Cup, Maria Tutaia came to town to speak at our Coaches Seminar, conduct clinics and share her knowledge from years of playing world class netball in New Zealand.
It was Ruth Aitken, ex Silver Ferns Coach and current Singapore National Coach that uncovered her talent and thank goodness she did!
One of the most skilled long-range shooters in the world, she has cemented her spot in the goal attack position showing the poise and focus of a much older player.
One year after her selection in the NZU21 side, the team went on to win the 2005 World Youth Championships. In 2006, Tutaia was also a member of New Zealand’s gold medal-winning team at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
After two seasons with ANZ Championship side Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Tutaia moved to Auckland where she is captain of the Northern Mystics. She has re-signed with the Northern Zone team for the 2014 season and has 83 Test Caps to her name so far.
CLINICS… The shooters selected from the local secondary schools (Div A, B and C) over the past few days got the honour of an hour with Maria, brushing up their shooting skills and having the chance to see this star tower above them and give them some advice that they should hold onto for the rest of their playing career. Star-struck and silent, they soaked it in and went away happy with their photos, autographs and tips from the top.
STUDY AWARDS… Friday night came along and Maria stepped out as the guest of honour for the Netball Singapore study awards. Rousing plenty of smiles and giggles from the national players present, she gave an inspiring talk about her trials and tribulations in the sport.
For such a successful athlete on the international stage, she is incredibly humble, humorous and relevant for our own aspiring and accomplished players. Talking about her career highs and lows, she put the sport in perspective, shared her drive and commitment to be the best and stay the best, and talked of her aspirations for the year ahead as her team, the Silver Ferns, aim for glory at the World Cup.
The Study Awards is an evening that recognises the achievements of the National Open and Age Group teams. The players’ hard work and dedication in the sport is rewarded through funding from the Lee Foundation.
To receive their gift from such an inspiring and approachable player, must surely have only added to the honour these girls have to represent and strive to succeed for Singapore.
THE TRIP CONTINUES… Her whirlwind tour continues this weekend, as she will be a Guest speaker at the Nations Cup Coaches Seminar tomorrow (Saturday), she will give the players perspective to the more than 60 local coaches attending.
Sunday is all about Nations Cup. This will be Maria’s first chance to see the Singapore team in full flow, and with her Samoan heritage, she will be keen to see Samoa in action too.
She will also make time for fans with a ‘meet and greet’ before the matches get underway.
Maria Tutaia will undoubtedly leave a last impression on these shores.
Netball Singapore is the national body for netball in Singapore. Established in 1962, it has become a professionally run National Sport Association today.
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