Te Puke Intermediate's assembly was gate-crashed today with fantastic news for the school's top netballers.
Shocked members of the Anchor AIMS Games netball team made their way to the front of the hall to be handed individually-named official AIMS Game hoodies after being picked as the winners of a Hits Bay of Plenty radio station competition.
Year 8 student Mya-Rose Wilson, 12, who plays wing attack and centre, said she had been saving up for a hoodie, but wasn't sure she would be able to afford one before the AIMS Games started on September 8.
''It's super exciting - it was really nerve-racking because we had to stand in front of the whole school,'' she said.
She was looking forward to playing games with her friends and spending time with them for the AIMS Games week.
Coach Jonelle Crone said getting the hoodies would help build bonds within the team.
''They are a great bunch of girls and a great team to coach and the fact that all of them are going to have a hoodie and not just some of them will bring them together as a team - give them that unity,'' she said.
The team will play the Harbourside Netball's 8A grade final tomorrow morning against Tauranga Intermediate in a game that will gauge how they are tracking ahead of the AIMS Games.
''That will be our final Saturday game and we've been playing a few tournaments as well,'' Crone said. ''There have been some wins and some losses, so it's a big learning curve for them.''
Netball is the biggest sport at the AIMS Games this year with 128 teams taking part.
''With the intermediate year group, the teams change every year because the cohort changes every year, so it's very difficult to predict who will do well. It's a very hard competition to win because you can lose one game all week and come ninth. But it's an amazing week and such a great experience for anyone involved.''
The Hits Bay of Plenty presenter Will Johnston helped present the hoodies after the team had entered the Facebook-based competition by uploading a photo.
''We were pretty keen for it to go to a local team,'' said Johnston, ''because the [AIMS] Games are held on their patch, their turf, so it's nice for them to have some support.
''We went through a bunch of photos and looked at lots of comments that people put underneath them and these guys just seemed like, one, they were deserving, two, they work exceptionally hard and, three, they are pretty high-performing as well. You can almost tell by the photos and comments how much it will mean to people.''
Medals at the netball competition will be handed out by Silver Fern Casey Kopua.
''It will be cool if they do really well and they get some sort of medal presented to them by Casey Kopua in their AIMS hoodies - they'll remember that,'' Johnston said.
The giveaway was arranged in conjunction with AIMS Games organisers and Logotech.
AIMS Games start with the cross country on September 8 with the netball competition starting on September 9.