The St Catherine’s College senior basketball players defied all odds to win the Wellington Girls Division One Championship finals against Onslow College last August.
Coming from the smallest integrated school in Wellington with just 300 students, the team comprising 11 hard-working girls aged 15 to 18 and their committed coach, Serafina Akeli, had to work hard to meet teams from the better-resourced schools.
The girls trained two or three times a week and attended academic tutorial sessions before training and playing matches.
The team’s camaraderie was boosted by the girls spending time together off the court and this showed in their on-court performance. In their final game, they were down by 12 points at half-time but managed to come away with a convincing 60-53 win. This was a huge accomplishment for a school which has not made the finals for almost 10 years.
Today, the girls are continuing their study sessions and their fitness programme once a week in preparation for their end-of-year examinations and next year’s basketball season where they will compete in the premier grade.
Jessica Slade is SCC captain