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Talented Shields off to World Cup

Rising Masterton player Maggie Shields will play for the nation at the inaugural Under-15 Women’s World Cup in Japan.

Shields’ selection for the Developing Sox Team came after two days of squad training and participation in the Easter Classic in Auckland.

A product of the Giants club, Shields moved to the powerful Hutt Valley Saints club for the 2022-23 season, where she came under the tutelage of New Zealand White Sox mother-and-daughter greats Naomi and Kerry Shaw. She went on to represent Hutt Valley and was part of the winning under-15 team at the North Island Classic.

The World Cup gives the young players experience in the demands of international matches. The head coach of the Developing Sox, Anthea Stringer, believes she has assembled a talented squad.

“We are excited to work alongside these talented young athletes, to challenge them, support them and allow them the learnings to develop into the best they can be,” Stringer said.

“We have a lot of work to put in before October, but we are committed to doing it together.”

Giants club spokesman Chris Feary was thrilled with Shields’ selection, saying that her potential was obvious from an early age and could go a long way in the game.

However, softball isn’t the only sport in which Shields excels, with netball also on the radar.

She was in the Wairarapa College A side, which won their second consecutive Wairarapa premier one championship and was selected for a Central Zone advanced training camp after some outstanding form at the Lower North Island secondary schools tournament.

The Under-15 World Cup, the first for the age group, will run from October 19-30 at the Komazawa Olympic Park Sports Complex, a venue constructed for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

In other softball news, two of the successful Giants Blue team will head to Denmark at the end of May for the European season.

Catcher Trey Feary and Tarquin Karaitiana were key members of the team that won the Intercity premier two championship and will head to Denmark under the guidance of former England international catcher Kevin Stratford.

As well as local competitions, they will play in some tournaments around Europe, including a major event in the Czech Republic.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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