Jo Paora never far from the Taita Netball Courts
Jo Paora is the sort of person every sport needs.
Although netball is arguably our biggest participation sport, it does not receive the funding that codes like football, cricket and rugby get.
As a result, it relies on volunteers and in the Hutt Valley one of the longest serving is Paora.
Her career as a senior player started in the early 1970s and in the years since, she has held just about every position available.
A goal attack, she represented Hutt Valley for 12 years. Clubwise she has been with Naenae Collegians United (NNCU) and all its predecessors.
For "at least" the past 25 years she has coached NNCU at Premier level.
Her coaching CV also includes Hutt Valley High School and Chilton Saint James.
As an administrator, she began with her club, joining the committee to be a voice for younger members. She then moved into fundraising and sponsorship before becoming a Hutt Valley administrator.
At Hutt Valley Netball she has held numerous roles, including its paid development officer, and is currently president.
Throughout her career Paora has been a consistent voice for Hutt Valley netball and its players.
She opposed Hutt Valley becoming part of a bigger regional organisation, arguing that locals should be in charge at grass roots level.
One of her great joys was watching Hutt Valley age group sides and supporting youngsters improve their game.
With a background in banking, Paora took the first steps to have Hutt Valley netball run by paid staff.
With more than 2000 players, it was a huge challenge for volunteers.
Having a paid development officer ensured the game grew locally and she is proud of what she achieved in that role.
Despite devoting much of her spare time to netball, Paora admits she does not really know what drives her.
"Where does my passion come from? It is just something that is there. It just comes from within me."
Having been a constant at the Taita Netball Courts for nearly 50 years, Paora has no regrets.
'I did it because I loved it. I have a passion for netball."