Junior Manapori has dedicated his life to netball. The staunch stalwart of the sport, recently being selected as part of the NZ Men's side that will take on the Ferns, is the Vice President for NZ Men's and Mixed Netball Association, and Director for Sport at Auckland Girls' Grammar School.
He says it's his mission to promote Men's netball to its highest pinnacle.
Sports Director of one of Auckland's thriving secondary schools, Junior Manapori can see the value in the NZ Men's vs. Silver Ferns fixture.
“This is going to open doorways. We wanted to look sat pathways” said Manapori.
He is one of eleven players named in the New Zealand Men's to face the Silver Ferns and Manapori says the fixture is more than just a one off.
He believes more games like this will follow.
“I’m honored to be playing out top women, it gives us a measurement”
Manapori, who is the vice-president of NZMMNA, says many former Silver Ferns players have used social men's netball competitions to test their skills.
Manapori adds, “I wouldn’t have dreamed an opportunity like this would come, playing the Silver Ferns”
The historic match in June is welcomed by the entire men's netball community. Men's netball has been played for 35 years at national level.
“It’s a World first for men’s netball. I dedicate this to the male netball players of the past.”
Next weekend Manapori will get a chance to play ahead of the June test with his team at the Indoor Netball Nationals.