Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

New Zealand Sevens teams gear up for Paris Olympics

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Hanalei Foliaki | Reporter/Director

With the Paris Olympics looming, the New Zealand’s Sevens teams are preparing for what appears to be a promising campaign. 

After the Black Ferns secured a back-to-back-to back wins in Hong Kong, the players are eager to showcase their skills on the world stage.

Back on home-soil last week, celebrations were in full swing as the players returned home to a fun-filled community day. 

For Shiray Kaka, it was just good to be home.

“I’m very much a homebody, as soon as I land in a different county I’m counting down the days to get home to my dogs and my cat… Oh! I should say my husband too! Sorry Gillies.” 

Versatile player Theresa Setefano was also happy to be home to connect with the kids and community. 

“A lot of the time we’re overseas so we don’t really get to connect with our own kids at home and our own community in New Zealand so when we get the opportunity, we cherish it,” she says. 

With both teams securing spots at the 2024 Paris Olympics, the competition for the final squad isn’t taken lightly. Especially for brothers Cody and Kitiona Vai.

“Sevens is lucky to be an Olympic Sport,” says Kitiona. 

“[Being] kids from South of Auckland… You don’t really dream of the Olympics.. so to get a genuine shot for me and the little uso, can change the world for us.”

Forward Tone Ng Shiu is also vying for a spot and has made a successful return after a lengthy 16 month injury. 

In preparation for the Paris Olympics, the New Zealand Sevens teams have two more tournaments to tackle in both Singapore and Madrid. 

Despite their recent victories, Nga Shui says it’s important for them to stay focused and keep tactics close to their chest.

“Got that last win in Hong Kong and just try to build to the Olympics but… at the moment, just taking it one week at a time, one tournament at a time.” 

The final two Sevens Tournaments will take place in Singapore 03-05 May and 31 May-02 June 2024.  

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