In an ANZ Premiership season where Trident Homes Tactix’ new recruit Vika Koloto was prepped to expect the unexpected, there has been one surprise which she never saw coming.
Koloto and her Tactix team-mates head south for a match against the Southern Steel in Invercargill on Wednesday night – another rescheduled match in a campaign hit hard by the impacts of Covid.
“It’s been a pretty crazy season so far,” she said. “But it’s just about being adaptable and I’m trying to enjoy every moment I can. Last week we were in three different cities in one week – I caught six flights. It does seem crazy but we’re doing it together and stuff like this is actually bringing us closer as a team.”
The first unexpected event of the year came when Koloto, who moved out of home for the first time to head to Christchurch, was elevated into the Tactix’ Premiership squad having initially signed on as a training partner.
Being struck down by Covid before the season started was something Koloto and her team-mates had planned for but still came as a bit of a shock for the teenager.
“We really did go into the year with that mentality to expect the unexpected and just roll with it,” she said.
But the biggest surprise came when her parents, Susan and Emosi Koloto, decided to leave their Auckland home and head to Tactix territory to set up in a new city.
“I moved down here for a bit of independence and my parents followed me and now live five minutes away from me,” Vika Koloto said with a laugh.
“It was all very quick – they moved in February and hadn’t even been planning such a move in January. They were probably as surprised as I was.
“When I moved to Christchurch, I just loved it straight away. I told them about how everything is so close and compact compared to living in Auckland and I guess that won them over.”
The Koloto family, Vika included, are enjoying their new surroundings and the netballer admits it has been nice to have her parents just down the road after testing positive to Covid a second time, just weeks ago.
The goal attack has been boarding at St Andrew’s College and can’t speak highly enough of the support bubble she has had from the school and the Tactix family.
“I’ve had a great support system around me, and I’ve been able to focus on just getting out on court.”
The ANZ Premiership rookie has had court time against the Stars and more recently in the Round 7 match against the Pulse.
Despite the results not going the Tactix way, Koloto said the belief within the side remained strong and they were ready for the second half of the season, starting in Invercargill against the Steel.
“We all know what we’re capable of as a team and it’s just now really everyone, all 10 of us, believing in what we’re capable of and putting it out on court – it’s hard but I think that’s where the strength of a team should be, having that belief.
“Personally, any court time I get I’m just really taking it in and feeling the experience – that’s the only way you can get better once you’re in the ANZ Premiership is relishing that court time that you get.”
Koloto has also enjoyed her court time with the Mainland side in the Synergy Hair Netball League, stepping into the shooting circle when her schedule allows for it – the red-and-black side reaching this weekend’s national netball league grand final.
“It’s important that I keep the muscle memory of my shooting which comes with court time, and I’ve been lucky enough to get some time for the NNL team which has been great.”
- The Trident Homes Tactix meet the Steel at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on Wednesday at 7.15pm, live on Sky Sport.