School: Otorohanga College
'The parents messed up, and kids are picking up the pieces'
Kiarnah has a lot to thank her siblings for. Both of her parents are currently incarcerated, and her older brothers have stepped in to take care of her. The youngest of 4, Kiarnah has been in her schools U15 netball team but has had to give up her place on the squad due to her family’s current financial situation.
Kiarnah’s older brother Caleb is not the average 21 year old. He’s moved out of his flat and back into his parents’ home, taken on a mortgage and a low-paying apprenticeship, and is basically a stand-in parent for his teenage siblings. They have another brother (23) who chips in for bills and expenses, but things are still really tight around the house. Sport has taken a backseat to just keeping everyone alive and moving.
Kiarnah is a quiet, but polite and caring teen. Even though she can’t be on the team anymore, she still attends their home games and cheers on her old teammates. She loves animals and has aspirations to become a veterinarian. She doesn’t want to let her parents mistakes affect her life, but as things currently stand, she doesn't have a choice.
We think sport is a huge part of what makes up the fabric of our New Zealand culture. We think that EVERY kiwi kid should have the opportunity to participate in sport and it heartbreaking to know that some people miss out on something so important, through no fault of their own. Sport gives mental and physical health benefits, creates lifelong friendship bonds, and teaches us lessons which help shape our character.
At The Waterboy we think it’s amazing that these kids are banding together together to make things work (if only just). Through everything that has happened, these kids have not lost their ambition and they are working hard to make their future a bright one. We applaud their efforts and what to back them the only way we know how. We are seeking a caring sponsor to support us in making sure that Kiarnah has the opportunity to participate in netball this season.
Otorohanga - South Waikato/King Country