Sporting glory for Queen Margaret College students
International success for triple threat on the sports field
A Year 11 Queen Margaret College student will be gracing the world stage in Basketball next year.
Paris Lokotui is part of the New Zealand Aon Women’s U17 who made history in Bangalore, India by becoming the first junior-women’s national side to qualify for a basketball World Cup after defeating Thailand in the quarter-final of the FIBA Asian Championship in October.
Paris scored 19 points and 9 rebounds in the World Cup qualifying match.
Paris, who has been playing basketball since Year 7, says it was a “thrilling experience” to make it to Bangalore and then the World Cup.
“You have so many emotions when playing for your country. It’s exciting to show people around the world how I play,” she says.
“As a team our number one goal was to qualify for the Under 17 World Cup, so to achieve this definitely lifted a weight off our shoulders.”
Paris says her team was now preparing for the World Cup in Belarus, which will take place next July.
“We will have monthly camps where as a team we will train hard and play against stronger competition, like the New Zealand U17 boys team. As an individual I’ll be trying to maintain a higher level of fitness and intensity when I train,” she says.
Paris is also a rep player in Water Polo and Netball and was part of this year’s Aotearoa Māori Netball International Secondary School team, the NZ Water Polo U16 team and the Wellington U17 Netball team.
She plays in the Queen Margaret College Senior A Basketball and Senior A Netball teams, both of which made history in their respective categories this year.
Paris credits her father as her sporting and everyday hero.
“He encourages me to do my best, to work harder than others and to do the little things right like finishing under the hoop and making sure I stretch before and after every game. He always tells me that hard work beats talent, as talent only gets you so far,” she says.
Triple win for QMC girls
Three talented Queen Margaret College Sportswomen came out on top at the College Sport Wellington Awards last week.
Estelle Macadré and Ivy McLean were named Players of the Year in Hockey and Tennis respectively, while Bridget Olphert was one of the Cyclists of the Year.
Ivy plays for the QMC Premier 1 Tennis team who came second in this year’s New Zealand Secondary School Tennis Championships.
She has also played extremely well in Singles and Doubles events; winning the CSW Senior Tennis Championship, College Sport Wellington Open Tennis Championships and National U16 Doubles and Mixed Doubles Championships.
Estelle was captain of the QMC 1st XI Hockey team this year. She also plays for the Capital NHL Women’s team and in the New Zealand U19 Squad.
She says she was “really excited” to be named the female Player of the Year by College Sport.
“It was so amazing to be acknowledged and to have my parents there. Making them proud is really important to me,” she says.
Estelle trains up to eight times a week on the field and says her coach Dane Lett is one of her biggest influences in hockey.
“I look up to him a lot and he's helped me develop into the player I am today. I would have to say he's one of my sporting heroes.”
Bridget rides for Queen Margaret College, the Wellington Track Cycling Team and the Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Club.
This year she has competed in Nationals and North Island champs in both track and road racing.
She says she enjoys cycling because of its social side.
“I really like the social side of cycling because you can do all your hard training and also go out with a group of friends for a fun ride,” Bridget says.
“Also, tinkering with your bike, learning about all the detailed mechanics and seeing all the new technology available is pretty cool because not many sports use such intricate machinery.”