Selby-Rickit sheds young blood tag
She's used to being the youngster in most netball teams, but this year Otaki's Te Paea Selby-Rickit looks set to be the old head if she again makes the New Zealand under-21 netball team.
The 20-year-old former Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Rito student has been playing for the Southern Steel ANZ Championship team for the past two seasons, and has been named as a triallist in the NZ under- 21 team.
Selby-Rickit first made the team in 2007, playing as a shooter while sister Te Huinga Reo looked after the defensive end of the court.
"I was 15. It was real weird coming into that environment. I'm sort of used to it now and know what they expect. I'm the oldest in the squad now, so it's quite weird coming from always being the youngest to now being the oldest."
She said the experience would help her to take a lead in the side, and to help the younger players in the team.
Her selection in the 18 player trial squad comes after making the tournament team at the under-21 New Zealand Age Group Championships, where her Otago team won.
She said she had a good tournament, shooting well, including in the 49-48 final win over Auckland Waitakere.
During the ANZ Championship season Selby-Rickit and the Steel train six days a week, and she arrives about half an hour early to training to work on her shooting.
"We get there a bit early and put some shots up, and stay a bit late sometimes as well."
In her second season with the Steel, Selby-Rickit got to play her sister for the first time in a professional match during the year, with Te Huinga Reo moving to Wellington's Central Pulse.
"It was a bit weird. We never really had an opportunity to play each other in the past. We kind of knew what each other do during the game, but she's pretty tough."
The big goal for the future is to earn a spot in the Silver Ferns.
The under-21 trial is tomorrow and Saturday. The 12-strong squad will be named in October, with the team playing a tournament in Australia against Australia, England, South Africa and Samoa.
- Horowhenua Mail