AIMS Games: Twins Kiana and Bailey Stevenson win AIMS Games gold medals within minutes
As Kiana Stevenson of Murray's Bay Intermediate was locked in a feverish point-by-point battle with Glen Eden in the AIMS Games netball final, her twin brother Bailey was also playing extra time in the tournament's football final.
Murray's Bay won both matches in extra time - the same day as the North Shore school's girls' football team and boys' hockey team also won gold. The school dominated finals day at the 15th annual Anchor AIMS Games in Tauranga, New Zealand's premier sporting event for 11-13 year-olds, with gold in four of the tournament's most hotly-contested codes.
Kiana played goal shoot for the entirety of the feverish netball final, which went in to significant extra time as the teams attempted to gain a two-point advantage to seal a win.
Sienna Rugg, 13, scored the winning goal.
"My arms were shaking the whole time but I just knew I needed to get this goal."
The final score was 30-28 to Murray's Bay.
While mum Nina watched Kiana's game, dad Tony watched twin brother Bailey playing defence for Murray's Bay in the boys' football final against Rosmini Intermediate.
At fulltime, the football finalists were tied 1-1 but Murray's Bay claimed the gold with a 4-3 win in a penalty shootout.
Tony and Nina texted updates to each other throughout the finals. Tony says: "We were gutted we couldn't be at both games but so ecstatic with the result."
The Stevensons will be taking the twins out for dinner tonight and Tony says they can order whatever they like – "even fizzy drink".
"We were incredibly proud of them making the finals. In reality, both [Murray's Bay teams] would be underdogs. This will be something the kids will remember and to achieve what they've achieved is quite special. I still can't quite comprehend what's happened."
Murray's Bay also won the girls' football final, and true to form, their match against St Kentigern College also went in to extra time. The score was 2-2 at fulltime, and Murray's Bay won 5-4 in a penalty shootout.
Earlier at the netball, Nina Stevenson had been biting her nails.
"Glen Eden is just incredible," she said just after halftime when Murrays Bay were trailing Glen Eden by three points. "It's unbelievable we're so close to them."
The two teams last met a month ago at the Auckland championship, and Glen Eden had cast Murray's Bay aside with a commanding 18-9 win.
At the final whistle of the AIMS final, both the new champions and the silver medallists erupted in tears.
"We've never beaten them before," Kiana said, tears streaming down her face.
Murray's Bay's goal for AIMS had been to make the Top 16 of the 124 teams entered. Samantha Kooiman has coached the Murrays Bay team for a decade, and will this year step down from the volunteer role.
"My last year and we win the North Harbour comp and now we win AIMS!"