Torren Isaako – Aotea Sharp Shooter
Porirua is a hotbed of Wellington sporting talent with countless personalities enjoying success at the national and international levels. In 2020 a new generation of Porirua athletes are making waves at high school and may one day themselves become household names. College Sport Wellington went on tour to meet some of these outstanding young talents.
Torren Isaako of Aotea College is a ball of energy and that coupled with superior concentration has made her one of the elite age group talents in New Zealand netball.
In January the Goal Attack was one of 50 athletes invited to attend a Netball New Zealand development camp in Auckland.
Fledgling talents were coached by former Silver Ferns Irene van Dyk, Jo Morrison, Temepara Bailey, Sandra Edge, and Anna Galvan in a series of agility, speed, skills, fitness and game-related tests.
“It was a huge privilege to go, intimidating with so many good players, but an awesome experience,” Isaako said.
“I learned a lot about better techniques and preparation.”
Isaako was particularly impressed with Latonya Lole who was named Victrix Ludorum at Mount Albert Grammar School last year and was the Auckland Netball Premier Player of the Year.
Another role model is legendary Australian Sharelle McMahon.
“I like Sharelle because of how feisty she is. I remember watching a test she played against the Silver Ferns where she scored a goal and immediately turned around to defend, got a turnover, and landed a long bomb,” Isaako acclaimed.
Boasting a deadly accurate mid-range shot the hustle of Isaako drove Aotea to greater heights in 2019.
Twice Chilton St James was defeated as Aotea won the RSSL Division 2 title earning promotion to Division I.
“We were the underdogs so it was great to beat them twice. The games were nerve-wracking, but we kept getting better at handling pressure which was awesome,” Isaako recalled.
Aotea went on to achieve their best ever finish of 11th at the Lower North Island Tournament.
She is confident Aotea can do even better in 2020. Coached by Dad Terry Isaako, Aotea has a young squad but another weapon in the shooting circle. Ava Jones is a six-foot-two Year 10 goal shoot.
From a Samoan, Cook Island and Maori background, Isaako was named a top ten player at the Maori Netball Championships last year and selected in an Aotearoa Maori team that won an International School Girls’ tournament. She was also in the tournament team at the National Under 17 Championships in July 2019.
-Story Courtesy of College Sport Media