Diversity & Inclusion
Agafili paves the way for Pasifika cricketers
By NZC Thursday 30 May 2024, 10:40 am

An inspiring speech from guest speaker, Regina Lili’I (Samoa and Auckland women’s cricketer), at McAuley High School’s 2019 sports prizegiving motivated a young Carol Agafili to begin a journey in cricket.

“My journey cricket was influenced by a lot of people in my life, my family, my first coach Garry Wood, Regina Lili'i and many more that I met along the way,” said Agafili.

“Garry Wood made a big impact in my cricket journey because he saw potential that I couldn't see at the time.

“He supported me from the first moment I stepped foot in my first cricket club, Papatoetoe Cricket Club, sticking by my side and helping me grow into the player I am today.”

From a career grounded in Kilikiti, Agafili’s transition to cricket was seamless – graduating from premier club cricket at Papatoetoe Cricket Club to a debut for Northern Districts during the 2021/22 season.

On top of Agafili’s 28 domestic appearances for Northern Districts are three international appearances for Samoa at the recent South Seas Healthcare Pacific Cup.

Agafili juggles her playing commitments with her role as Cricket Development Officer in Counties Manukau with Northern Districts Cricket Association, where she brings energy to her vision of using sport as a vehicle to empower and support community and family connections.

Also driving Agafili is a passion of bringing the sport of cricket to the Pasifika & Māori communities throughout Aotearoa.

“There weren't many Pasifika cricketers when I first started playing,” said Agafili.

“However, over the past four years of playing and coaching cricket, I've seen the growth and potential of Pasifika participating in cricket.”

Through her role in Counties Manukau, and as coach of the newly created Pasifika Secondary Schoolgirls team, Agafili is a role model within the Pasifika community.

According to Agafili, initiatives such as the South Seas Healthcare Pacific Cup and Pasifika Schools are vital in bringing exposure to the sport in Aotearoa.

“These initiatives are great chance to expose cricket to our Pasifika people, but also to watch their family and friends play a sport that isn't prevalent in our community.”

Major Association initiatives such as Auckland Cricket’s ‘BatFirst’ programme, Cricket Wellington’s recent ‘Kilikiti at the Basin’ and Northern Districts’ ‘Kilikiti Festival’ have been instrumental in connecting the Pasifika community to cricket.

Agafili believes a different approach is needed to promote cricket to the Pasifika community.

“It is important that we cater to the interest of the Pasifika community,” Agafili explained.

“For example, playing a game of cricket in a similar format to Kilikiti. Making it enjoyable with music, food, prizes, and good vibes from the participants.”

Samoa’s potential in the sport has been evident, stamped by strong performances at the South Seas Pacific Cup, and more recently – qualification for the Samoan U19 Women’s team to the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in January 2025.

Agafili encouraged future Pasifika cricketers to get out of their comfort zone, and to give the sport a go.

“My message for future Pasifika cricketers is to push through the uncomfortable.

“In order to get comfortable with the things you do in life, you have to face and work through the uncomfortable.

“Trying a new sport, such as cricket, is a great way to do exactly that.”

Latest news

View More

All Abilities programme opening doors in Cricket

Canterbury Cricket’s “All Abilities” programme was created to provide young disabled people an opportunity to try cricket in an inclusive environment. Young Cantabrian, Zac Baxter, is an example of so
Read More

First Aotearoa Māori women’s team to compete for 2024 Pacific Cup

The first Aotearoa Māori Women’s cricket team is set to contest the Pacific Cup tournament, to be held in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland in January.
Read More

CD Māori emerge as inaugural Māori Wāhine National Champions

An inspirational weekend of Cricket in Hastings culminates in Central Districts Māori being awarded the inaugural Rona McKenzie Taonga by Darren McKenzie, grandnephew of the late Rona McKenzie
Read More

Day Two Match Reports | Māori Wāhine Nationals

Close contests and some fantastic individual performances cap off another fantastic day at the Māori Wāhine Nationals!
Read More

Day One Match Reports | Māori Wāhine Nationals

Read match reports from an action packed day one of the Māori Wāhine Nationals
Read More
View More