WINTON teenager Della-May McDermott was a key member of the New Zealand Maori Netball team which won the Pacific Cup in Papakura last month.
Seventeen-year old McDermott played in the goal keep position, as the team went unbeaten against five Pacific Island countries and a Maori development team. The final was won 32-30 against the Cook Islands.
With New Zealand’s senior netballers involved in the ANZ Championship and the Beko League, the Maori team was selected from secondary school-aged girls.
McDermott, who is currently Head Girl at Central Southland College, said: “It was quite cool to think that the best Maori school girls took on and beat some of the senior teams that will be at the Netball World Cup in July.
“Our coach was Jess Huia who is also in the Steel coaching team, so it is awesome that we had two Southlanders in there representing Maori at such a high level.”
McDermott’s next netball focus is on representing Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) at the New Zealand Maori National Tournament over the Easter weekend at Stadium Southland.
This is the first time Southland has hosted the tournament in its 32 year existence.
Fifty teams will be competing from the nine waka’s (regions) in the following grades; under 13, 15, 17, 19 and senior teams.
Following the tournament 12 players will be selected for an Aotearoa Maori Secondary School team to compete at an international tournament in Palmerston North in May.
Huia will be the head coach of the Maori team which will compete with national secondary school teams from South Africa, Tonga, Samoa, Malaysia, the Pacific Rim, Fiji, School Sports Australia and Indigenous Australia.