Maaka, Olsen-Baker trialling for NZ u18 team

RUGBY

GISBORNE Girls’ High School’s Azalleyah Maaka and Te Maiora Olsen-Baker are this weekend vying for places in the New Zealand under-18 sevens team to compete in the Oceania Rugby U18 Sevens Championships in Sydney in April.

Maaka and Olsen-Baker are among 30 girls attending trials in Wellington this weekend. If successful, the duo could go on to represent New Zealand in the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October — provided New Zealand beat Australia.

Poverty Bay development officer Henry Lamont said Azalleyah was “super-excited to get back into camp and the New Zealand high-performance environment”.

“Azalleyah has already had a taste of what is expected as she was a member of the New Zealand u17 team who won the world secondary school title in Auckland last year.

“For Te Maiora it will be her first foray into the high-performance environment.

“Te Maiora is feeling confident as she has just had great fitness results at her testing for the air force.

“Having these two selected for this camp is tremendous for the profile and development of girls’ and women’s rugby in Turanganui a Kiwa.

“Along with Trish Hina, Charmaine McMenamin and Nita Maynard, they are great role models for our youth.

“They’ve shown that even if you come from a small province, if you set your goals high, with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

RUGBY

GISBORNE Girls’ High School’s Azalleyah Maaka and Te Maiora Olsen-Baker are this weekend vying for places in the New Zealand under-18 sevens team to compete in the Oceania Rugby U18 Sevens Championships in Sydney in April.

Maaka and Olsen-Baker are among 30 girls attending trials in Wellington this weekend. If successful, the duo could go on to represent New Zealand in the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October — provided New Zealand beat Australia.

Poverty Bay development officer Henry Lamont said Azalleyah was “super-excited to get back into camp and the New Zealand high-performance environment”.

“Azalleyah has already had a taste of what is expected as she was a member of the New Zealand u17 team who won the world secondary school title in Auckland last year.

“For Te Maiora it will be her first foray into the high-performance environment.

“Te Maiora is feeling confident as she has just had great fitness results at her testing for the air force.

“Having these two selected for this camp is tremendous for the profile and development of girls’ and women’s rugby in Turanganui a Kiwa.

“Along with Trish Hina, Charmaine McMenamin and Nita Maynard, they are great role models for our youth.

“They’ve shown that even if you come from a small province, if you set your goals high, with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

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