By JACK AMI
LAST week’s inaugural Rigo Netball Association tournament was heralded a success with junior netballers rounding out an entertaining event at Gomore village in Central.
“We believe that such tournament creates opportunities for women and girls to play and enjoy netball,” association president Iammo Launa said in a statement prior to the event.
“Most importantly, it gives them a chance to contest for positions in Rigo and Central’s representative teams.
“It is every netballer’s dream to be selected in the national Under-21 and women’s teams.
“Apart from national representation, participation in physical activities like netball has great health benefits.
“Teams will also be selected from the tournament to represent Rigo in Southern’s district championships in Alotau.
“We are hoping that our district administration will help us with some funding.”
The grand finalists received trophies and cash while individual awards were also handed out.
In the U21 grand final, Kamali eased past Hula 30-17 to bag the major honours. The U17 and U15 deciders saw Kalo sink Kwalimurubu 26-16 and Kamali 21-20 respectively.
In the U21 decider, Kamali defender Caroline Kila and Dianna Guria were in impressive form as they contained Hula goal shooters Kala Ali and Joan Oki for most of the match.
Kamali shooter Ruta Koivi top-scored with 18 points and her partner Karo Karo bagged 11.
Comprising raw, talented netballers, Kamali forced the experienced Hula side – who fielded several Port Moresby-based players – into a number of errors as they applied pressure throughout the match.
“ It is every netballer’s dream to be selected in the national Under-21 and women’s teams. Apart from national representation, participation in physical activities like netball has great health benefits.”
In the midcourt, Kamali centre Gerega Kila, wing attack Lusiana David and wing defender Galoga Iamo capitalised on silly errors and easy turnovers to cruise to victory.
Hula’s Talima Gulo, Vanaja Simo and Rebecca Joseph tried desperately but to no avail as their high error count came back to haunt them in the end.
Hula goal keeper Leigh Albert and Gia Kopi were unable to contain Koivi and Karo, whose side finished the tournament unbeaten. Kamali and Kwikila are bidding to host next year’s tournament.
Meanwhile, the association has named its senior and junior training squads for the championships in Alotau and the upcoming provincial tournament.