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Timaru Girls' High School pupils Olivia (left) and Laura Seyb (18)

by Greta Yeoman

Timaru twins have been recognised for their longstanding contribution to school sport around the region.

Timaru Girls’ High School pupils Laura and Olivia Seyb (18) won the contribution to sport award at the recent Aoraki Secondary Schools Sports Awards for their work with not one but four sports over their school years.

The pair took up basketball at primary school and were soon coaching teams just a few years younger than them.

TGHS’ junior basketball team placed fourth in the South Island secondary school basketball competition last year and won the Aoraki secondary schools junior basketball competition this year, both times under the direction of the two school-aged coaches.

“It was a great experience,” Olivia said.

The twins also coached the under-13 South Canterbury girls’ basketball team last year, and co-coached the under-15 boys.

Laura said their “twin dynamic” helped when they were coaching and playing.

“We bounce off each other.”

They also competed in the sport, playing in A-grade schools’ competitions last year, and refereed.

While Laura was out of play this year due to an injury, she helped coach the secondary school team – which included Olivia – to its third South Canterbury Basketball Women’s League title in a row, beating older teams.

The pair also picked up volleyball and cricket at the have played and coached since then. They also took up badminton last year, and have won the Timaru Girls’ badminton doubles cup two years in a row.

“We thought we’d give it a go,” Olivia said.

The twins have now finished high school, and Laura plans to go to the University of Canterbury to study for a Bachelor of Sport Coaching.

Olivia is still thinking about her options, but both are clear they will definitely stay involved with sport, maybe even helping out at Timaru Girls’.

“[We would] like to give back to our school.”