Talented twins juggling sports and loving it

Georgia and Kate Heffernan. Photo supplied.
Georgia and Kate Heffernan. Photo supplied.

Georgia and Kate Heffernan have a bright future ahead of them in their sports.

At 14, the Blue Mountain College twins have already shone in cricket, netball, basketball and athletics, and have plenty more to give.

It was no surprise the Heffernans delved into sport at an early age. Their mother, Annette, was a Silver Fern, and their father, Noel, played rugby for Canterbury Country.

Netball is a passion the girls share.

They are members of the Blue Mountain College senior A team - Georgia is a shooter, while Kate is handy all over the court - and have played in Eastern Southland age group representative teams since year 5.

Along with netball, the girls have both represented Eastern Southland in basketball, making the under-15 team last year, and the under-17 team this year.

They said they enjoyed juggling the sports and keeping fit.

Both attended the South Island secondary schools athletics tournament at the start of the year, Georgia in long jump, and Kate in high jump.

They said they did not perform their best but both placed 11th in under-15 events.

In the summer, cricket is where the girls have really excelled.

Georgia is a handy bowler, while Kate is more of a batting all-rounder and - according to her sister - is an ''awesome'' fielder.

Georgia was selected in the Otago under-21 cricket team that competed at the national tournament in December.

She was the youngest player in the tournament and said it was ''intimidating'' to compete against players a lot older than her.

''I was scared of everyone,'' she said with a grin.

The team finished sixth, and Georgia impressed her older team-mates by taking seven wickets, the most by an Otago bowler.

Meanwhile, Kate travelled to Christchurch for a tournament as part of an Otago-Nelson combined cricket team, where her team made the third-fourth playoff that was rained off.

A month later, both Georgia and Kate travelled to Wanganui as part of the Otago under-15 representative team.

The team was fourth overall, beating both Canterbury and Auckland. Georgia took an impressive 12 wickets and was named bowler of the tournament.

Both girls were then selected to compete for an Otago under-16 development team that played two twenty20 games and a 40-over game at Waitiri Creek.

They said they learnt a lot and met a lot of people.

Growing up on a farm, the twins are always outside shooting goals or throwing a ball to each other, part of the reason they share a love for sport.

Their brother Matthew (18), who is a member of the Otago Boys' High School First XV, played a role in the girls' success in cricket.

They said he used to make them bowl to him when they were younger.

''He would complain if we didn't bowl straight,'' Kate said.

Both Georgia and Kate aim to make the Otago under-21 cricket team next year, and keep learning and improving in all their sports.

 - Bridget Rutherford


FAST LANE

Names: Georgia and Kate Heffernan (14).

School: Blue Mountain College.

Sports: Netball, basketball, athletics, cricket.

 

Achievements

Netball: Eastern Southland representative teams since year 5, Southland development under-14 and under-15 squads (both).

Basketball: Eastern Southland under-15 and under-17 representative teams (both).

Cricket: Otago under-21 (Georgia), Otago under-16 development (both), Otago under-15 (both).

Athletics: Eleventh in under-15 long jump at South Island secondary schools (Georgia), 11th in under-15 high jump at South Island secondary schools (Kate).