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PUKENUI School student Amber Waretini is
preparing for the experience of a lifetime after be-
ing selected to play in the World Youth Basketball
Tournament (WYBT) in Hawaii later this month.
The Te Kuiti 13-year-old is a member of an U19
invitational team which will compete in the 11th
annual WYBT Makahiki Hou Invitational from
Youth and high school teams from countries
such as Australia, China, Japan, Samoa and the
United States of America will compete in the
tournament, which has played host to a number
of current NBA stars including Dallas Mavericks
centre Andrew Bogut, Atlanta Hawks centre
Dwight Howard, and Cleveland Cavaliers small
forward JR Smith.
Amber says she is “really excited” about the op-
portunity, although she feels a little overwhelmed
about being “the baby of the team”.
“In my school teams I’m one of the tallest and I
play as a forward. It’s different in this team because
I’m a lot younger than the others, and I’m playing
as a lane runner with a whole different game plan
so I’m still getting used to that.”
Her main on court responsibilities are ball
movement and helping bring the ball out of de-
fence and into attack. She was at an orientation
night at Hamilton Girls’ High School’s Sonning-
hill Hostel last month, where the New Zealand
team’s coach is a staff member, when she was
“We were talking about basketball in general
and the coach asked me if I’d like to play in the
invitational team – I didn’t see that coming,” says
The team trains at 7am at Hamilton Boys’ High
School gym every Saturday.
“I have to get up at about 5.30am, but it’s worth
it. It’s a huge opportunity.”
TE KUITI High School athletes Katie and Sam
Corbett achieved great results at the New Zealand
Secondary Schools Track and Field Champion-
ships earlier this month.
Held at Trusts Stadium in Waitakere from De-
cember 2-4, the event attracted more than 1300 of
New Zealand’s best young athletes, competing in
two divisions junior U16 and senior U20.
The twins’ father Dean Corbett says the level
of competition was outstanding and several NZ
records were broken over the three days.
“On the Saturday, Katie won her 80m hurdles
heat and was the third fastest qualifier for the
“She then went on to qualify for the 300m
hurdles final which is a new event for her.
“In the final of the 80m hurdles, she ran an
outstanding race for fourth place with a new
personal best of 12.33sec, then in the 300m hur-
dles final she recorded another personal best and
“Although she was disappointed not to get on
the podium this time round, all of the girls in her
final will move up to the senior ranks next year.”
He says Katie has quickly established herself as
one of the country’s best young hurdlers and has
her sights firmly set on gold at next year’s champs.
Sam also entered a new event for her, the
2000m steeplechase which proved to be a tough
race starting at 3.30pm in sweltering heat, with
the juniors and seniors running together.
“Sam got off to a good clean start, and ran a fine
race finishing with the bronze medal and a new
personal best time of 7m 24.54sec,” says her dad.
“It was a great result in a highly competitive
age group with the top juniors beating most of
THE upsets kept coming in last week’s Otoro-
hanga summer soccer competition with Hobbs
Transport Services causing the surprise of round
10 when they defeated top of the table OTC
The wet conditions suited the Hobbs team
who defended strongly and scored a goal in each
half to win 2-0.
Dominic Fortis made a number of crucial saves
for Hobbs, and was awarded the McKenzie Straw-
bridge ‘Player of the Night’, while his team were
winners of the Kiwitown Liquor Centre ‘Team of
the Night’. The loss for the Rascals means Bevanz
Electrical now lead the competition outright.
Bevanz were again in good form convincingly
defeating Darcy’s Raiders 7-3.
Bailey Ingham successfully defended the log
for the third consecutive week with a 2-0 victory
over fellow top eight contenders KCK Kitchens.
Dental Surgery are the new holders of the
stump, scoring their second successive outright
victory 3-0 over Kiwitown Electrical.
In recent weeks Dental Surgery have powered
up the table and now sit just outside the top eight.
Also advancing up the table are HMB/Weta
who defeated Giltrap AgriZone 6-0 to claim their
fourth victory in a row.
TV Connect continued their consistent form
with a 7-1 win over Smithy’s Nailers, while Ad-
vantage Tyres were back to winning ways with a
6-2 victory over Ryco 24/7.
PFC United moved into the top eight, over-
coming Otorohanga Mitsubishi 2-0. In the closest
match of the night 100% Otorohanga defeated the
luckless Action Electrical Blues 3-2.
With one round remaining before the Christ-
mas break, the competition is wide open with at
least 13 teams still in contention to make the top
This week Bailey Ingham defends the log
against 100% Otorohanga, while Dental Surgery
have their first defence of the stump when they
take on Giltrap AgriZone.
Several other games involving top eight teams
including those in first and second place – OTC
Rascals and Bevanz Electrical – are sure to make
for some intriguing football this week.
The ASB Bank Christmas tournament will be
held at the domain grounds on Saturday.
Points table: Bevanz Electrical 27, OTC Rascals
24, Bailey Ingham 23, TV Connect 23, Advan-
tage Tyres 21, Darcy’s Raiders 19, King Country
Kitchens 18, PFC United 16, Dental Surgery 14,
Kiwitown Electrical 14, HMB/Weta 14, Giltrap
AgriZone 13, Hobbs Transport Services 12,
Otorohanga Mitsubishi 9, Ryco 24/7 8, Smithy’s
Nailers 7, 100% Otorohanga 7, Action Electrical
PUKENUI School basketball player Amber
Waretini is flying to Hawaii later this month
to compete in the World Youth Basketball
take upset win
Last year she played for the U15 Central Coun-
try team in a national tournament and is currently
trialing for the U15 Waikato team.
Amber says: “Basketball is a passion for me, I
just enjoy the game. You have to have fun, it’s not
good to play something you don’t like. Basketball
opens up plenty of opportunities too.”
Her personal goal for the Hawaii tournament
is to play as well as she can and “hopefully help
the team get some wins”.
Next year Amber is boarding at Hamilton Girls’
and hopes to make the school’s junior basketball
team. As for the future . . . she dreams of playing
for the New Zealand women’s team.
This year’s event was the first time the 14-year-
old twins had competed at the national secondary
school track and field champs.
“It was an amazing experience,” says Mr Cor-
“The results were a sweet reward for all of the
hard work and training put in over the last eight
“With the season just starting the girls will now
shift focus to their next events which include the
Colgate Games in Hastings and the Interprovin-
cial Championships in Taranaki.”
TE KUITI High School student Sam Corbett
(right) won bronze in the 2000m steeplechase
at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track
and Field Championships in Auckland earlier
this month. PHOTO SUPPLIE
Amber off to Worlds
Sisters compete at
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