It was an emotional tournament for the Niue Island Netball Association (NINA) 2022 one-day tournament held at the High School Paliati Grounds on Saturday. Not a dry eye around the grounds during the one minute of silence to remember former Classics Coach and netball legend Figo Kulatea-Ioane who passed away in October last year.
The President of the national sports body NISGA Maru Talagi was there as well as the Minister of Sports Hon. Sauni Tongatule who announced a $10,000 grant to NINA and opened the tournament.
The day started with the march-pass by the teams holding their banners with the theme Playing Netball through Covid 19. The winning banner went to Hakupu, and in second place Alofi and Aliutu in third place.
There were several categories, the Niue High School (NHS), Open Mens, Senior Womens and the Mixed Masters drew the crowds to Paliati.
For the NHS competitions, first place went to the Classics Ferns, second place to the Alofi Angels and third place TMT Tuapa. MVP for the NHS teams Latileta Ligadua from Classics Ferns and Linay Talaiti from Vaiea Sipikana
Open Men’s category First place Alofi Titans, 2nd place equal to Hakupu Starz & Vaiea Boiz and in fourth place went TMT.
Men’s MVPs were Samu Eseroma from Alofi Titans and Asaeli Wainiqolo from Aliutu.
In the mixed master’s competition, TMT Tuapa won, Aliutu in second place and Hakupu Masters in third with Alofi Legends in fourth place.
The MVPS for the master’s competitions went Make Siosikefu from the Alofi Legends and Jane Nemaia for Aliutu.
The highlight of the day was the final game for the Senior Women’s with an emotional win by the Classics Rebels in tribute to their former coach Figo. The Classics Rebels played their hearts out in the finals beating Hakupu Stars to retain their championship from last year. Alofi Reds in third and Manufolau Avatele in Fourth.
The MVPs for the Senior Women’s competitions went to Mahina Sipeni from Togulu and Jessica Pavihi from Manufolau in Pool A.
In Pool B MVP for the Senior Women’s competition went to O’Love Hekesi from Aliutu and Leilani Ikiua from the Hakupu Stars.
The first day of the NINA annual competitions was a success with credit to President Carol Edwards and vice-president Lofa Misa Kulatea and their team. The NINA netball season will start next week.