Netball: Sport in shooter Selby-Rickit's blood

Otago goal shoot Te Paea Selby-Rickit at Dunedin's Edgar Centre yesterday. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Otago goal shoot Te Paea Selby-Rickit at Dunedin's Edgar Centre yesterday. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit is suddenly the hottest property in Otago netball and is still coming to terms with her sudden rise.

The 18-year-old was named in the Steel squad last Wednesday and then capped off a great week with a flawless shooting display.

The 1.87m goal shoot drilled 49 goals from as many attempts to complete her first perfect game and help steer Otago to a comfortable victory against her old side, Western. She also pegged a point back in the family rivalry.

Her oldest sister, Miriama, took the court for Western and had to settle for second.

But the most accomplished of the three sisters, Steel defender Te Huinga Reo, will lay her claim to the bragging rights when she leads the Southland defensive effort against Otago in a national championship game at Gore this weekend.

The Selby-Rickit sisters come from a talented family. They have two brothers who are both promising rugby and league players, and their father, Haydn "Hud" Rickit, played two tests for the All Blacks against Scotland in 1981.

Sport is in the blood but Te Paea said the sisters were not that competitive with each other.

"We kind of always played together," she explained.

"Our family is hard out into sport so it was kind of just normal."

Te Huinga Reo and Te Paea marked each other during the national under-21 championships in Dunedin. Southland was too good for Otago on that occasion but Te Paea is hopeful the province can turn that result around and is looking forward to the banter with her sister.

"She makes a few smart comments. She tries to say she is taking it easy on me and stuff but - whatever," she trailed off, laughing.

When asked what it was like to mark her sister, she replied: "I try not to think about it.

"She is just another defender. But we always get in trouble because we always talk while we are playing.

Our coaches are like, 'Don't talk to her, just ignore her"'.

Te Paea had a taste of professional netball earlier this year when she was called into the Steel to replace the injured Daneka Wipiiti. She did not get on court but said it was a good learning experience.

But despite being under the watchful gaze of Steel coach Robyn Broughton, Te Paea said it still came as a shock when she was named in the squad.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet. But it is really exciting."

The University of Otago student moved to Dunedin this year to begin a physical education degree but has switched to education.

Netball also played a part in her shift south. She will have to move further south - this time to Invercargill - to link up with the Steel.

Her chances of getting court time in the ANZ Championship must have improved greatly after her effort in the weekend.

"I didn't even realise until the coach told me after", she said when asked about her flawless shooting against Western.

"It didn't even cross my mind. If I'd thought about it, I would have got nervous and missed."


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