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Pepes’ Ovia takes rigours of netball, school in her stride

Sports

TWENTY-two-year-old netballer Serena Ovia, pictured, has already represented her country, making her Pepes debut last year.
The talented youngster has proven to be more than capable, giving a good account of herself in the demanding position of goal keeper.
Ovia, who plays for the Rebels, donned the national colours during the Tri-Series Invitational held in Port Moresby last March.
Singapore and Australia’s Victorian Fury took part in the series.
She described her debut as a step up in terms of the pace and intensity of the game.
“The things that you have been taught at club level are very different from what we learn in the national side,” Ovia said.
“The intensity of the matches, you just have to lift your game to compete at that level.”
Indeed, 2016 proved to be a pivotal year in Ovia’s representative duties, having played for the Port Moresby Netball Association at the national junior netball championships (July 4-6), then making the national Under-21 team as they took on Singapore in a three-match series (July 21-24), which PNG won 2-1.
Ovia then travelled to New Zealand with the PNG U21 side to take part in the Oceania qualifiers for the Netball Youth World Cup.
Ovia’s hectic year was capped off with her return to the senior Pepes team when PNG took part in the Nations Cup Series in Singapore where they finished second.
Ovia, the eldest of five children, is from Kairuku, Central, and Malalaua, Gulf. “I come from a single-parent family,” she said.
“I live with my mum and her extended family.
“My mum has been a really big part of my life.
“I started playing at five years old in the Port Moresby competition.
“I’m actually the first one in my family to play netball, the rest play basketball.”
Ovia is a final-year business management student at the Port Moresby Business College.
“Right now, I’m trying to balance school and netball,” she said.

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