When Liana Komiti took on her biggest volunteering role yet, her goal was to make her Ories Netball Club a second home to all.
Komiti, who is the club captain of the Oriental Rongotai Netball Club (Ories), started her volunteer journey five years ago and has been recognised by the Netball Wellington Centre and Netball New Zealand for her service to her club and sport.
The Ories club has long played a part in Komiti’s life with her whānau and church family all having played netball or rugby for the club.
“When our previous club captain announced that she was going to be stepping down, no one was too keen on taking up the responsibility,” she said.
It threatened the future of the club and Komiti recognised the impact the closure of the club would have on their tight Pacific Island and Māori communities.
“Ories has always been almost like a safe place for our Pacific Island and Māori community, especially those not wanting to play competitive netball,” she said. “One day after talking to my sister she mentioned that maybe I should take over and keep the club going even if it’s just until we find someone else to take over.”
Five years later and Komiti is still in the role and relishing every moment.
She was awarded the Netball Wellington Centre Administrator of the Year award in 2021 having taken on the roles of club captain, social media manager, coach, umpire, team captain, finance manager and funding applicator.
“You name it, I’ve been it,” she said with a laugh.
They haven’t been her first volunteer roles having given time to her local church and also as a volunteer for a number of different charities.
“Knowing that I’m doing something for my community is why I do this,” she said. “It’s such a good feeling – seeing our players getting better.”
Komiti has also taken plenty of pride in seeing her Ories club flourish during her time there with their senior teams rising through the ranks.
“When I first said yes to take on Ories, I had no idea how well the club would do or that we would achieve so much in a short time frame,” she said. “Winning awards and having our teams crack higher grades is always an exciting time. This year for the first time in our club’s history our girls made Prems.
“I’m proud and seeing the happiness my girls had when they finally pushed through was an awesome feeling.
“But honestly for me, the best moments are when I have players reach out to say how much they enjoy the club and the community we’ve created.”
Komiti said her main goal however was to see the club become a “second home” no matter what grade members were playing in.
“I love that I have a family within Ories and I love seeing our girls connect off the court too.”
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