To give you an idea of the scope of people that play this game, Netball, throughout New Zealand, our population is 4.4 million and 3.14% play it week in and week out. The courts are a consist flow of all ages and levels coming and going from 8am to late into the afternoon playing Netball. It is an institution for NZ. Compared to the 3.14% of the NZ population who play Netball, Australia has 1.5%, England has 0.3%, Wales has 0.1% participation and therefore it is clear that the sporting culture in NZ creates a much larger pool of talent per capita. If 3.14% of the USA played netball, for example, by introducing the NZ sports culture, there would be more than 10 million girls playing, isn’t that exciting?
What this shows is just how big the sport of Netball is, played, supported and organised in New Zealand. With our ethos, style and culture it is really no secret why there are so many NZ Head Coaches coaching Netball at the 2015 World Cup. The one important note to make about all the coaches at the World Cup; Waimarama Taumauna – Silver Ferns, Gail Parata – Scotland, Ruth Aitken – Singapore, Marcia Hardcastle – Samoa and Kate Carpenter – Fiji, is they all played Netball in NZ but not all played for the Silver Ferns, all the coaches have strong club netball ties and have all been involved at all levels of netball from a volunteer level right through to the positions they hold now.
They have all built core values from strong club connections which I am sure is what makes them strong International Netball coaches now. The levels are clear, concise with strong regular competition from primary and junior competition, Age group Championships, Secondary School and National Competition. If you can imagine a Saturday morning with 20 plus netball courts from 8am to 4pm and a steady flow of children, teenagers and older women playing at least two games. The facilities pumping, car parks over flowing and whistles heard for miles and woman, girls and even blokes; well this is a regular occurrence at every netball centre throughout NZ. Five Zones throughout NZ with 87 centres with more than enough netball courts for everyone. Well with this sort of competition and people it is no wonder we have a high class, top quality attendance of Head Coaches at the 2015 World Cup.
Australia have a very close culture and ethos to NZ and maybe this is why there are also 3 Australian Coaches coaching at this World Cup as well, Lisa Alexander – Australia Diamonds, Norma Plummer – South Africa and Jill McIntosh – Technical Coach for Jamaica. It really says a lot about the two countries that are ranked number 1 and 2 in the world and have dominated these positions since the inception of the competition in 1963.
It’s not rocket science at all; good strategy and plenty of facilities with a supportive flowing governance structure along with a culture to WIN – It’s really speaks for itself.
Anyway, I am losing track of the initial question, the number of NZ coaches coaching at the current World Cup that is being played right now in Sydney, Australia?
I personally, think that the mindset, culture and organisational structure of the Netball in NZ is second to none anywhere in the world. Hey, I’m not saying that everything is completely right, nothing can be that ‘right’ or you would not be striving to the BEST in the world and number 1 all the time, but it’s pretty good. It’s a sport for woman, especially female coaches, that is testing, building and developing the very best.
Well with so many girls and woman playing the sport in droves, all these teams need coaches, and just as every girl or woman wants to be a great player, the coaches want to be the ‘best ‘ they can possibly be!
Melissa Hyndman Bsr