Spotlight on Howick Netball Team UNISS Champs and introducing Nani Waqaira

Nani Waqaira, aged 17, attends Howick College and plays netball for the Howick Netball Team.  Nani, originally from Fiji, plays Goal Defence and Goal Attack.  With her height of 1.81m tall, she’s a formidable player.

Born in Fiji, Nani started playing netball at primary school when she was 8.  She continued to play in school teams until, at 13, she was selected for the NZ Under-13’s team and moved to New Zealand in 2015.  Nani continued her netball career while attending Howick College.  Ironically, when she first started playing, Nani wasn’t too keen on the game – she couldn’t catch the ball very easily and wasn’t used to playing a team sport.  But with coaching she began to enjoy the game (and learnt to catch the ball!).  It wasn’t long before Nani was playing club netball and then began representing her city in inter-city games.

The schedule is a tough one – the team trains at least 4 times a week and they play matches on the weekends.  Adelita Sotutu, Howick Netball Director and Team Coach trains the girls and she pushes them hard, encouraging them to play at their best all the time.  This spirit has delivered some great team results over the past few years.

Nani aspires to play at ANZ level and is well on her way to achieving that goal.   The team is currently taking part in the UNISS (Upper North Island Secondary School) Championships.

We’ll be following their progress with a regular blog from Nani.

Snapshot of Nani:

Favourite TV programme – Reign

Favourite food – Sushi

Favourite school subjects – Health and PE

Least favourite subject – Maths

Favourite Band – Maroon5

Most admired netball player – Casey Kopua


Blog Post from Nani playing at UNISS Tournament, Mount Maunganui

End of the week…

We played our last few games hard and fast, lost a couple and won a couple – we ended up in the semis which was great for the team.  We didn’t make it through to the finals but played well and ended up third!  We were both delighted and exhausted.  My feet were sore after playing 2 games a day so I’m looking forward to some R&R.

However, we have to continue our training schedule as we have qualified for Secondary School Nationals which is in Timaru in October.  We’re busy prepping and fund raising.  We are looking for sponsorship if anyone can help us – contact Adelita Sotutu, Director of Sport – Adelita.Sotutu@howick.school.nz.  Thanks for reading my blog, more to follow as we head to the Secondary School Nationals on 7th October.


4 September 2018

We won our second game yesterday against Carmel 42 – 26 – another great game for the team.  Unfortunately, I rolled my ankle which meant I only played 3 quarters of the game, but I it rested well overnight and it was less sore this morning.

Our day began with a little R&R on the beach!  It’s beautiful down here at the Mount, we walked and took photos – too cold to swim!

The first of our 2 games today was against Morrinsville and it was another win for us –  Howick 34 – Morrinsville 23.  The second game is later today and we’ll be playing St Cuthberts.  The team is playing well together.


3rd September 2018

Early start, woke up at 6am and had breakfast at 6.30am – although I didn’t eat much as I wasn’t hungry.  First game was at 9am and we were playing against Whangaparaoa.  I played Goal Defence for most of the game, switching to Goal Keeper for the last part of the game.  We won – the score was 56-14 which we were all pumped about.  One tiny mishap involving my knee which got a minor scape when I slipped on the wet court – but no damage done!

It’s a great feeling when all the practice and training comes together for the team and we win 🙂 






Lucca Trailers is very pleased and proud to sponsor of Howick College Netball.

Howick College Netball aims to be one of the leading schools in New Zealand through increased participation, outstanding
performance and the pursuit of organisational excellence.  Its teams are doing exceptionally well and the multi-talented group of young players finished fifth at the Upper North Island regional tournament to qualify for nationals for the first time.

Recent news includes Netball New Zealand selecting a 23-strong squad for 2018,  following the National Development Camp in Cambridge last week.  The squad, which includes two ANZ Premiership players, includes Leehava Saverio and Nanise Waqairo both selected in the Northern Zone.  Congratulations ladies!