In 2015, Tonga Netball Association (TNA) competed at its first international event since re-affiliating to the International Netball Federation, at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.
Some very encouraging results against their netballing neighbors in the region has given TNA the confidence they can improve on those performances when Tonga hosts the Pacific Games on home soil in four years’ time.
Planning has already begun, with TNA keen to put in place the development programs and pathways that will lead to achievement at all levels of the sport.
Netball Australia delivered TNA’s first Level 2 Coach Accreditation course to 15 coaches in Tonga, to ensure coaches and players are developing at the same rate.
The course aimed to further the local coaches’ ability to progress skill development, teach more advanced techniques and plan and apply strategies and to share this with their communities.
South Australian coach Megan Carter delivered the course assisted by the CEO of Netball Samoa Rosemarie Esera, TNA General Manager Salote Sisifa and TNA Development Officer Uinita Tauhalaliku, to upskill these staff to continue delivering this course in future.
Earlier this year Carter delivered the same course in Samoa and said the group embraced her coaching philosophies and she was impressed by their enthusiasm to learn.
“They were really supportive of each other, they all got behind each other to work on delivery of their competency assessments and it was nice to see that supportive nature,” Carter said.
“They are keen, enthusiastic and with the resources behind them to help the coaches learn more, the off shot benefits means the competition gets stronger.
Even though Samoa and Tonga are traditional rivals on the court, Netball Australia’s International Development Manager Olivia Philpott said it was great to see netball officials from both countries working together for the betterment of the sport.
“Netball Australia is keen to facilitate exchanges of people, resources and ideas to encourage and share capability within the Asia-Pacific region that will ensure the sport continues to go from strength to strength,” Philpott said.
“When these two teams come face to face in four years’ time we hope it will be just as thrilling as any trans-Tasman clash.”
Netball Australia partners with Netball Samoa and Tonga Netball Association to deliver One Netball Pacific under the Australian Government’s Pacific Sports Partnerships program.