Playing together paves the way - Tyla Nathan Wong
The Nathan-Wong family are at the top of their game.
All three siblings from Blockhouse Bay know how it feels to represent their city or country in one form of rugby or another.
Tyla is in the New Zealand women’s sevens team which won the China Sevens on April 6.At 19, she is one of the youngest faces in the team.
The competition was held in Guangzhou – the Chinese province her grandfather is from.
‘‘It was pretty special for me to be there because of my grandfather. And to play alongside my teammates in the black jerseys was pretty awesome as well.’’ The final leg of the IRB Series will be in Amsterdam on May 16 and 17.
New Zealand came home with the trophy last year and Tyla is hoping to help history repeat.
It will come down to a transTasman battle, she says.
‘‘It’s the decider, really. It will be a big match.’’ And the international star’s younger brother and sister are following in her footsteps.
Shee, 17, and David, 13, are both Auckland representatives for touch rugby.
The Lynfield College athletes have been playing touch since they were 4 and say their older sister is a real inspiration.
‘‘We’ve just been brought up around it. We’ve all always enjoyed sport.
‘‘I personally love the camaraderie that you get when you’re playing,’’ Shee says.
For David, it’s the thrill of playing that keeps him in the game. The youngster is the smallest in his under-15 Auckland team and is hoping to make the NRL one day.
‘‘It’s just the speed of the game I love,’’ he says.
Their mother Deanne NathanWong made the New Zealand mixed team in the 90s and their father David also played toplevel touch in the past.
Her three children practise together at the Portage Rd fields, Deanne says.
‘‘It’s just a bit of a blessing that all three of them are into their sports and can do it together.’’ Tyla is now working towards qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.
And if she makes it you can bet there won’t be a lack of Nathan-Wongs to egg her on from the sidelines.
LAUREN PRIESTLEY Western Leader 2014
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