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The Australians and New Zealanders have been doing battle on the netball court for many years. But there are, of course, plenty of friendships forged and that is the case for the Koaki team which is playing at the New Zealand Masters Games.
The team was hatched at the Pan Pacific Masters Games in Sydney in 2009.
An Australian team included Pauline Kearns, of Adelaide, and with a couple of spots
left to fill, some New Zealanders who did not have a team but were keen to play were invited.
A combined Australian and New Zealand side was born and 11 years later the Koaki side is here at the Masters Games.
Koaki is a combination of Koala and Kiwi.
Team members were full of praise for the games here.
‘‘We have played in a lot of different places but Dunedin would have to be the favourite with us — just with the way it is set out, with the tables in the middle, where everyone can watch the games and relax,’’ Judith Lunn said.
‘‘We love the parade at the start, everyone having a good time and enjoying themselves. We dressed up as Charlie Chaplin and managed to win the parade so that was great.’’
The team is made up of two players from Adelaide while there are also players from Mahia, Hamilton, Morrinsville, Cambridge, and Matamata.
Members were aged between 55 and 60 but there was no age group for that specific age so they were in the 51-plus grade. That did not stop them as the side, which includes some who had played at a provincial level, ended up winning the grade.
The bodies were holding together well and it had been another fun weekend complete with an entertaining time after the netball.
The netball finished yesterday at the Edgar Centre. It drew teams from all over the country and a side that had travelled from Sri Lanka.