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Big stage beckons Manaia Hutana


FORMER Gisborne netballer Manaia Hutana has earned a spot in the 2020 Waikato-Bay of Plenty Beko interprovincial team, a selection that has excited netball players and supporters here.

The tall former Lytton High School goal shoot moved to Manukura, based at Massey University, Palmerston North, for her final year of schooling last year.

She has taken part in the Gisborne Netball Centre's development programmes, GNC reps, school tournaments and the zone development/performance camps along the way to a place in the national regional competition.

“This is a fantastic example of the player pathway in action and how our local girls can go further with their netball,” centre manager Allisa Hall said. “Massive congratulations to Manaia from all of us here at GNC.

“We cannot wait to follow the Waikato-BOP team's progress this season and watch Manaia on court. Everyone here is rapt. Next step the Waikato Magic!”

Netball New Zealand believes the Beko Netball League is fundamental to strengthening Netball New Zealand's performance pathway for new talent. The league is contested by regional representative teams and provides players for the ANZ Premiership franchises.

It starts on March 21. The teams will be the Northern Marvels, Northern Comets, Waikato Bay of Plenty, Central Manawa, Mainland and Southern Blast. They will go head to head for the title over a 12-week round-robin competition.

Of the 25 games this season, 16 will be televised live on Sky Sport.

The grand final will be played at the TSB Arena in Wellington on Sunday, June 21.

MANAIA MAKES IT: Former Lytton High School netball goal shoot Manaia Hutana, pictured taking the ball under pressure from Horouta goal keep Lucretia Taitapanui at the YMCA, has been picked for the Waikato-Bay of Plenty team for the Beko inter-provincial competition. File picture by Paul Rickard