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Get to know our new Women's Development Officer Lesley Ketu

Thursday, April 20, 2017
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Tell us a little bit about your upbringing, where you’re from and did you get into rugby?

Born and raised in Taumarunui, where girls played netball and boys played rugby. With four brothers and a rugby mad dad I made the switch to rugby playing in the Boys Under 14 team at Taumarunui High School.

Where did your Rugby head after kicking it off at Taumaruni High School?
From there I progressed year by year representing Waikato Under 18 Girls for the following two years and debuting for Waikato Women’s National Provincial side at 17 years of age in 2004.

After a stint in Australia in 2009 where I played for the Queensland Women’s 15 and 7’s, I returned home to New Zealand to play for the Waikato Women’s NPC side from 2014 – 2016 and I was fortunate to captain the team in 2015 and 2016.

In 2015 I debuted for the Black Fern and was later contracted in the 2016 New Zealand Women’s Sevens.

What are your rugby goals for 2017?

I unfortunately missed out on selection for the New Zealand Women’s Sevens in 2017 but I am currently striving towards the Women’s Rugby World Cup for the Black Ferns in August.

Is there anything that you have done outside of playing rugby?
I coached the Taumarunui Girls Sevens and King Country Girls Sevens in 2016. Prior to this role I worked as a HR Advisor and HR Business Partner for Restaurant Brands and Skycity Hamilton.

Now your apart of the Bay of Plenty Rugby team, what inspired you to take up this role?

After living the dream with the New Zealand 7’s Girls, training and playing rugby everyday there was no way I could go back to working in HR. The privilege that comes with being a national representative, whereby you have an opportunity to create opportunities for young aspiring players, made me very passionate about helping girls achieve their own rugby dreams, growing the game and being in some kind of role that continued to positively impact young girls coming through. If that is through mentoring, coaching or working as a Women’s Rugby Development Officer.

What you are hoping to achieve with your role?

To grow the profile of women’s rugby in the Bay of Plenty through meaningful initiatives provided to all levels from junior rugby right through to high performance. Whilst inspiring and influencing girls and women alike to contribute to the sport through playing, coaching, refereeing or administering the game we all love.

After reading this how does someone wanting to play, coach or just get involved with Women’s Rugby get in touch with you?

I’d love them to flick me an email and get the conversation started and then see what path we can take them down. Simply contact me at lesley@boprugby.co.nz and let’s go from there.

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