Te Motoi Harawira wants to create some sporting history.
The supremely talented athlete has an incredibly strong family pedigree in sport and could easily follow in one of their footsteps but instead she wants to make her own legacy.
Her cousin Stacey Fluhler (nee Waaka) is a rugby sevens star for the New Zealand Black Ferns, while her brother Beaudein Waaka plays rugby in the United States and has also represented New Zealand at sevens.
Another one of her cousins is Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, who is currently part of the New Zealand men’s sevens team, with her other famous cousin being New Zealand touch star Dallas Teepa, who is making a name for himself in the seven-man game.
She could follow any of her cousins in those codes and has recently been named in the New Zealand under-16 mixed touch team to tour Australia later this year but is opting for another sport as her major focus.
“I was stoked to make the New Zealand team for touch. That’s a really cool honour and I am incredibly proud of that and excited for that challenge when it comes around but I want to become Ruatoki’s first Silver Fern.
“That’s still my ultimate goal.”
Having grown up playing various sports in the backyard and at school alongside her cousins, Te Motoi was always destined to reach the top.
“They all taught me loads when I was younger, and I am incredibly grateful for them.”
The 15-year old shone at a touch tournament in Auckland with the Bay of Plenty under-16 mixed team, which led to her selection in the squad to tour Australia later in the year, provided the Covid-19 problems are over.
Te Motoi plays as a winger in the mixed-touch circles.
“I love touch rugby. It’s a great sport and I really enjoy making new friends and facing different opponents.”
She is thankful for all the support she has had in helping her improve at her sports.
“I’ve had so much support by family and friends, it’s been great. They look after me really well.”
With the Silver Ferns her major goal, there’s another netball target the talented goal keep or goal defender would love to tick off first.
“Mum really wants me and my younger sister, Teina, 13, to play in the same netball team together.
“She is only in year nine, so it might have to be next year or hopefully later in the year where we might play a few games together.”
“It would be really awesome if we do get to play together.”
Another target is to perform well for her school team and help them do well in the EBOP netball competition.
Te Motoi also attended a netball camp in Taupo as part of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic’s talent camps and loved the experience.
“It was really cool to get that challenge with the netball and meet a whole lot of new players.
“They taught us some really cool stuff.”
A year 12 student at Te Wharekura O Ruatoki, she has also dabbled in rugby league representing Tuhoe in some tournaments and wants to keep playing while she can.
Her older brother, Tiki Harawira, is playing in Australia with the Burleigh Bears, so league also runs in the family.
Te Motoi has also dabbled at badminton and loves playing sport to keep fit but also out of trouble.