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V for victory . . . St Kevin's College netballers who headed to Australia were (from left) Lena Sakalian, Rylee Bell, Gemma Dowling, Mekeisha Hurley, Laura Preston, Ellen Swanson, Rebecca Dodd, Jaimee Trainor, Siva Katoa, Georgia Oakes, Molly Kay, Tayla Hofman, Hannah Cunningham.

Talk about ticking all the boxes.

A trip to the Gold Coast last week gave the St Kevin’s College senior netball team a chance to build team spirit, work on skills, and experience some quality international opposition.

It was also a heck of a lot of fun.

St Kevin’s was “thrilled” to place third at the annual International Netball Festival, coach Carmen Brenssell said.

An action-packed week featured no fewer than eight games, a clinic with members of the Queensland Firebirds, an Anzac Day parade, some time (naturally) at theme parks, and a trip to Couran Cove, on South Stradbroke Island, for a “survivor challenge”.

Brenssell said the trip was a fantastic opportunity for the school.

“The girls represented themselves at the highest level and came together as a united group,” she said.

“They have learned lots of valuable skills and lessons on team togetherness and toughness, and how to win when you believe in yourselves.

“This trip has really set us up for the rest of the season.”

The highlight of the on-court action was a 22-22 draw with St Margaret’s College, the powerful Christchurch school that placed third in the South Island last year.

Typical Australian weather . . . St Kevin’s netballers and opposition players get very wet.

Wins were posted in pool play over Cambridge High School, Tauhara College and an Australian side called Rubezz, while St Kevin’s finished with a 28-23 win over the St Margaret’s 2 side in the third-fourth playoff.

It took a couple of games for the girls to adjust to the officiating, Brenssell said.

“The game is umpired very different to Oamaru netball. We had to toughen up quickly as it was fair contesting on everything.

“By the end of the tournament we loved their way of umpiring and it will be hard going back to no touching in Oamaru.”

The St Kevin’s squad attended the Runaway Bay parade on Anzac Day, and players were asked to lay a wreath. Georgia Oakes and Molly Kay did the honours.

Paddle for glory . . . Siva Katoa (front) and Georgia Oakes compete in a survivor challenge.

The week finished with a trip to Couran Cove on a ferry for the survivor challenge.