Malo Lelei, my name is Malia Manoa. I am of Tongan descent. I began playing netball at a very young age. My family and I have faced many challenges, I often thought that I would need to stop playing netball. I have been selected to attend the Netball NZ Development Camp in Hamilton in late January. My mum parents nine of us children alone and it has been incredibly difficult for us to pay for rent, food and taking care of us all. I constantly feel in conflict with feeling very thankful and at the same time I feel very sorry that I am needing financial support from my family for a sport. I think, “is the $600 for the NZ Development Camp even worth it when my mum can use that to pay rent and buy food to feed my family?” Therefore, I have decided to try and raise some of the funds for the camp so that I feel ok about accepting this amazing opportunity. I often experience self-doubt about my ability and skills and whether or not this pathway is worth the financial strain that it puts my family under.
Another challenge that we faced was with my religious beliefs. As you may know Sunday is to be kept Holy and playing on this day is forbidden. However, we then saw this as a talent that God had bestowed upon me and decided to pursue this gift. I have achieved a lot of things during my time playing netball and have received numerous awards. One award that I will always remember and still find exciting is the Fair Play Award I won at an U15 netball tournament in Masterton in 2014. I have also been the recipient of several awards during my college years from both my school and my club, Marlborough Netball. A goal I have set for myself is to ‘ Never give up and strive for the best’. I also have the mindset of searching for my purpose on this earth as well as fulfilling God’s plan for me. These goals include, inspiring others, touching the hearts and minds of others and instilling confidence in people to strive toward their dreams.
I am sincerely grateful for any support that I may receive!