Home' Hastings Mail : June 21st 2011 Contents 7
HASTINGS MAIL, JUNE 22, 2011
HASTINGS CITY . . .
STILL THE PLACE TO BE!
Hastings city offers shoppers the best of everything -- the
biggest range of retailers, all within a compact CBD where
no shop is ever too far away.
The 300 block of Heretaunga St West, from Pumpkin
Patch to Thomson Suits, is currently undergoing a major
rejuvenation but rest assured its business as usual.
Shoppers can access all their favourite stores during
the redevelopment which, when completed, will further
enhance Hastings City as the Bay's best shopping
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Netball has ruled her life
Tight team: Annemarie Kupa-Petera and daughters Parris and Aspen. Together,
they form a force to be reckoned with.
Well defended: Annemarie Kupa-Petera passes on her netball skills to daughters Parris and Aspen.
By VIVIENNE HALDANE
Annemarie Kupa-Petera's life is
all about teamwork and family.
The 34-year-old netball coach and
player lives in Otane within coo-ee
of both sisters: her twin Tammy
and younger sister Rebecca. Then
there's her mum and dad and
other relatives who live in the
We are all sports mad,'' says
the fit-looking mother of two, who
started playing netball at 13. Not
only my sisters, but my brother
Jason who was in the Magpies
during 2005-2009 and my other
brother Marcus, who is very good
It was family and an enduring
love of netball that drew her back
home nine years ago.
The Otane Netball team were
in the first division and were
going to be dropped to second -- they didn't have
the numbers back then, so that's when I decided to
leave Physique 2000 after being a part of them for
10 years and come back to family roots. My sisters
and I, along with a couple of other players joined
the Otane team also.''
Since then, the strength of the Otane Force has
seen them reach the regional finals and win six
championships. At the weekend the team won
Eastern Netball's 2011 Top Club competition in
We've got a strong team -- with five or six
Otane-based players and others from Dannevirke,
Hastings and Napier.''
As both player and coach for the Otane Force,
Mrs Kupa-Petera says she really counts on her
sisters for support. They've had lots of experi-
ence, both in the NZ National Bank Cup compe-
titions and the NZ under-21 team. They are my
eyes and ears, if I don't see something on court.
We work closely together. If I didn't have them, I
don't know if we'd be so successful, to tell you the
At times too, there's a bit of sisterly rivalry
going on. We have a few good battles but we know
when to zip it,'' she laughs, adding, You have to
be competitive at training, as that's how we like to
play on the day.''
And after the match when the cheering has died
down and the sweat washed off, the three sisters
will sit around the kitchen table with poached
eggs on toast and a Milo'' to pull the game apart.
As for the Otane Force, who continue to hold
their own, Mrs Kupa-Petera says, It's become a
strong team -- we've been in the finals every year
and have built an excellent reputation for our-
selves and with that, we can pull players from all
over. We've also had good sponsorships, this year
Speight's Ale House have been brilliant. They've
kitted us out with Puma gear and other extra
items like bottles of wine for player of the day.''
Time and energy also goes into fundraising, to
pay for gym hire, as well as buying items such as
first aid kits, new balls, and training equipment.
Netball keeps Mrs Kupa-Petera busy all year
round. One might think there's some down time,
but in summer, when most are packing up a chilly
bin to head to the beach, she's back on court.
From November to February, I help run a high-
performance programme for elite secondary school
players. During this time, 12 secondary school
players are selected to go to the NZ Talent Devel-
opment programme. From this, top selectors come
here to view potential talent for the NZ secondary
school team and potential ANZ cup players.''
It's through the regional ranks that young
players rise to national level. She loves to encour-
age and nurture emerging talent. What makes a
It's all practice and hard work. With shooting,
you can't just get out there and do things on your
natural ability -- it's about getting out on court and
doing long hours. You have to be mentally tough
-- the way the game has developed makes it a very
physical sport. You need to be very determined
and set your goals in place.''
And it's not necessarily the tall girls who make
the best netballers, according to Mrs Kupa-Petera.
My sister was always told she'd never make the
under-21 NZ team, because she was too short.
However, one coach said, she can do it', so she
kept working at it and made it. When some
coaches say you haven't got it', you need to keep
going, because someone else may see something
different in you.''
One of her regular coaching jobs is with Iona
College Senior A. I love coaching these girls --
they are eager and willing to learn. It's great to
see players put things out on court that we've done
It's hard to believe her, when she says she
doesn't think she will continue playing netball for
much longer. She's the epitome of fitness: lean and
energetic looking. A recent knee injury and sub-
sequent operation have proved difficult to bounce
back from. However, she's not letting that stop
Then of course, there's the next generation to
encourage. Already, her daughter Parris, 8, is an
I've tried to steer her into doing something
different, but netball is all she wants. No surprise
really, because she and her sister Aspen, 5, are
around it all the time.''
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