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Young Netballer shaves for a cure.

Oliver Handley-Elder has gone above and beyond as a young Netballer.

At the start of the year, Otakiri School pupil Handley-Elder was told he wouldn’t be able to play Netball because his school did not have enough players to form a team.

Not to be deterred, Handley-Elder took it upon himself to reach out to another local school, Matata Public, to ask if he could join their team.

His passion and drive to play Netball has paid off as himself and two other students from Otakiri School were accepted into Matata Public School’s Year 7 & 8 team for the season.

With the unknown being a bit scary, Handley-Elder recalled his first encounter with his new team. “I felt kind of nervous at first but once I started playing and now, having got to know them, it is pretty cool! They are good to play with.”

And if that wasn’t enough courage shown by Handley-Elder, a few weeks ago he made the brave and humbling decision to shave his blonde, lush shoulder length hair off in front of the whole school.

His decision to be part of the Shave for a Cure fundraising was inspired by his older brother who also shaved his hair off a few years ago for charity, as well as the ability he had to give back.

“I wanted to help others out because I don’t need it and I am lucky mine can grow back. Even some of my friends got to have a go a shaving some of my hair!”

Otakiri School teacher, Matt Brown, praised young Oliver Handley-Elder “it was a simple yet selfless statement that shows maturity and compassion beyond his 12 years”.

Handley-Elders is an inspiration to other boys who enjoy playing netball, his advice is to “try new things, you don't have to be a girl to play Netball, just have a go and I know you will enjoy it!”