|Role:||Head Coach of the South African Netball Team|
A former Australian Captain herself, Norma has been coaching since 1967 when she took on the role of Captain / Coach for the Melbourne Netball Club. Over the next 28 years winning Grand Final after Grand Final to be one of the most successful clubs in Victorian/Australian Netball History.
As well Norma successfully coached both National and State League teams with numerous championships wins being added to her coaching belt. 1977 & 1978 Norma was Playing Captain & Coach for the Victorian State Team winning back to back National Championships and again in 1986 after a short break which was the highest competition in Australia at the time.
In 1995, Norma was appointed the Australian 21U Head Coach, the team she took to Canada in 1996 to win back the World Youth Cup after Australia had lost 4 years before and was successful winning the Gold Medal. 1996 also saw Norma win 1996 Super League Grand Final and Victorian Open Championship Grand Final with Melbourne Puma. Norma was awarded the Female Australian Coach of the year by the Confederation of Australian Sport.
With success on her resume, Norma again was in the role as coach for the Australian 21U Team in 1997 and also became the Coach for the Melbourne Phoenix (formerly Melbourne Puma) at the inception of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy national competition. She coached the Phoenix to Win the CBT Trophy Grand Final and at the same time keeping her Australian 21 and Under side undefeated for that year.
It was in 1999 when Norma was successful in her application to replace Gaye Teede as Head Coach for netball at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) based in Canberra. She changed the running of the current AIS Netball program to what is now the building ground for the 21U Australian Team, the future of Australian netball. In 2000, Norma coached back-to-back World Youth Cup titles by winning the championships held in Cardiff, Wales.
In 2004 Norma was appointed the Australian Coach – taking over from the retiring Jill McIntosh after losing the 2003 World Championships in Jamaica. With injuries and retirements the Diamonds were going through a re-building phase and in 2006 Australia lost to New Zealand in the Gold Medal match of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. The following year, 2007, Norma successfully won back the Netball World Championship title defeating New Zealand in the final. Norma also won the Australian Coach of the Year in 2007 – this is the highest award for any coach in Australia.
In 2010 Commonwealth Games where held in Delhi where the longest, and arguably the greatest game in the history of netball was played – going into double overtime. After playing 7 minutes each end, the teams were still locked together and endured another 16 minutes of sudden death where one team must score 2 goals to win.. The Diamonds had several opportunities to win the match but fell to New Zealand 66-64, taking home the Silver Medal.
The following year 2011 was the World Championships held in Singapore. During the build up to the Competition two major injuries occurred. One was Captain and Goal Shooter Sharelle McMahon and Wing Attack specialist Lauren Nourse. This meant the speed in the Diamonds forward line had gone and required a major re-think for the Diamonds Selection. The Selected team was less experienced with 4 new players making their debut compared to their rivals the Silver Ferns who had maintained their winning Commonwealth Games Team.
The World Championships Grand Final once again saw Australia vs New Zealand and the teams didn’t disappoint the packed 10,000 cheering fans although most thought Diamonds would not win with this inexperienced team. Just like the Commonwealth Games the teams were tied at fulltime and had to play ‘overtime’, but this time it was the Diamonds who took home the Gold with young rookie shooter Caitlin Bassett sealing the win by one goal on the siren.
Norma Plummer coached Junior & Senior Australian Teams for 16 year and retired after the 2011 WCs and moved over to Perth to Coach the Western Australian Franchise ‘The West Coast Fever’ – the bottom of the Australian Teams in the ANZ Competition. It’s a challenge that is having great impact on Western Australian Netball and Norma hopes her expertise and support will lift them off the bottom of the Championships. Norma will be Head Coach of the West Coast until at least the end of 2014.
On Australia Day 2013, Norma Plummer AM was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to the sport of Netball which was a huge honour.