Silver Ferns player Tutaia takes pupils through their paces

Maria Tutaia 'loves' teaching her craft

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2014
maria tutaia
ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ

HOPPING IT UP: Silver Ferns and Northern Mystics netball player Maria Tutaia visited the New Plymouth Adventist Christian School yesterday.

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Children at New Plymouth Adventist Christian School got some specialist netball training yesterday from one of the best in the game - Silver Ferns and Northern Mystics player Maria Tutaia.

The school raised the most money per student in the 2013 Adidas School Run For Fun programme so they won a sports day with Tutaia who flew into New Plymouth for a few hours.

She took the children through some fundamental training, such as fast feet drills, she said.

"I love it, that part of my job. It's second to winning. To get to go out there and teach your craft to little kids and put smiles on faces. That's the most important bit - having fun."

It was great that Adidas ran the fun run programme, she said.

"It's all about being active in schools and staying healthy and teaching kids that it's not good to put crappy things in their bodies, so they perform better on the court or on the field and especially in the classroom."

Tutaia has recently played her 100th game for the Northern Mystics, which made her feel old, she said.

"It's a slightly surreal experience to play 100 games in the ANZ Championship. It's a huge achievement that very few women achieve. I am very blessed."

Her next goal is to be picked for the Silver Ferns when they defend their gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

The biggest challenge used to come from the Australians, but England and Jamaica were getting a lot fitter and stronger, she said.

"That's great for the world of netball."

New Plymouth Adventist Christian School principal Teressa Pollock said the school raised $2845 in the fun run, with only 33 children. This year the school has 37 pupils from years one to eight.

The children had to get sponsorship and some did odd jobs to raise the money, she said.

"For a fundraiser it's a much healthier alternative than selling chocolates. The kids all loved it."

The reward system adidas set up worked well, because the more money the children raised the more prizes they won, Pollock said.

The school put the funds towards laptops and iPads.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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