The reputation of Hawke's Bay as a breeding ground for outstanding sportsmen and women was endorsed at the North Island intermediate schools sporting championships at Mt Maunganui a fortnight ago.
Taradale Intermediate won gold and silver at hockey while Tamatea Intermediate were fourth in the netball. Both schools were well represented in the AIMS tournament selections.
The Taradale boys beat Otumoetai 3-0 in the boys hockey final and had five players, John Drake, Jay Mason, Mitchell Evans, Thomas McIvor and Harley Tabernacle, named in the tournament team.
Taradale's girls also faced Otumoetai in their final and, ultimately, had to bow to the powerful Tauranga school.
It was, however, a brave challenge, losing 6-5 in a penalty shootout after the scores had been locked at 1-all at fulltime.
Taradale, who had earlier beaten Tauranga 5-4 in a penalty shootout (2-all fulltime), had Merania Hibbard, Tessa Hocking and Sophie Davies named in the tournament team.
"It was absolutely spectacular," said Nigel Tyler, teacher and coach of both teams.
"Both teams played superb hockey and it will be the pinnacle of their sporting career for some of these kids."
Tamatea Intermediate netball coach Linda Scott was also delighted with the performance of her team in finishing fourth among 16 schools from Auckland to Wellington.
Tamatea lost to Tauranga 24-22 in the playoff for third and had three players, Tanika Pohatu, Abbey Green and Star Scott, named in the tournament team.
Taradale finished seventh in the netball competition. Havelock North Intermediate runner Stacey Kennedy was second in the girls' year 8 crosscountry.