Hawke's Bay resident and Silver Ferns royalty Irene van Dyk was 19 when she first made a representative netball side.
And it wasn't for lack of trying.
"She did not make a rep team until she was 19 and she trialled and trialled and trialled," Hawke's Bay Netball general manager Tina Arlidge said.
Age group representative sides are now largely a thing of the past for major sporting codes in Hawke's Bay when it comes to young teenagers.
Most major codes only have representative teams from under-15s and under-16s upwards, as opposed to under-12s and under-13s in the past.
The move has been part of a wider push to focus on player participation and wellbeing rather than winning.
On Wednesday, the bosses from the six biggest sporting codes in Hawke's Bay met to sign a landmark memorandum of understanding (MOU) which has taken that focus a step further.
The MOU featured 11 commitments including identifying talent "later rather than sooner" in young athletes, and not forcing children into one sport.
Hawke's Bay representatives from soccer (football), rugby union, netball, cricket, basketball and hockey all signed the MOU in a show of unity.
Arlidge - one of the sporting heads who signed the MOU - said removing younger age group representative sides had resulted in fewer problems for players.
"We have come quite a long way. Now the first time you can be a representative player is under 16," she said.
"We have seen less issues with girls being upset and not wanting to play because they have not made [a rep] team and they think they are never going to make it."
She said Hawke's Bay Netball had also cut down its calendar so more netballers could play other sports.
Sport Hawke's Bay general manager Ryan Hambleton said the major codes had been meeting up quarterly this year and discussing player wellbeing.
"As a group we wanted to get together and say 'hey, what can we do to ensure the young person is being looked after with a focus on wellbeing'.
"Part of that is to challenge traditional mindsets of what sport has been in the past."
He said burnout and making children commit to one sport at too young an age had been a problem in the past.
"We see so many players that go and play under-age reps [that] might get burnt out or are focused on one sport for such a long time."
He said things like Give It A Go days were becoming more common where kids can come along and try multiple sports and just have fun.
"Winning is not important for everybody," he said.
Hawke's Bay Rugby Union CEO Jay Campbell said targeting children too young in our national sport did not work.
"While you might be a superstar at the age of 10, at the end of the day true high-performance talent does not really start occurring until your late teens."
He said they no longer had representative rugby until under-16s, where previously it started at under-13s.
"We want more people playing for the right reasons."
He said that included encouraging more people to play for the enjoyment of the game, which would in the long run help local clubs thrive and survive, and keep more players in the game post-high school.
"We are 100 per cent behind this," he said. "It is just formalising what we have been thinking for a long time."
He said giving young players time to play other sports was also important and great for fitness and transferable skills. He said it did not make sense to specialise in a sport until late teens.