Netball Central’s drive to expose and develop its next tier of coaching talent has gained considerable traction with eight candidates from the Zone recently accepted for the sport’s premier coaching qualification programme.

On the back of Netball New Zealand’s Composite Coach Qualification (CCQ), which is specifically designed to fast-track coaches who have gained their experience of high performance sport through participation, Netball Central were conscious they had plenty of aspiring top quality coaches waiting in the wings.

After implementing a pilot programme during 2019, Daya Wiffin (Kapiti), Frances Solia (Wellington), Irene van Dyk (Wellington), Ashley Kate Araroa-Waerea (Manawatu), Hannah Kelly (Whanganui), Renee Matoe, Emma Weenink (Wellington) and Annmarie Kupa (Hawke’s Bay) have been accepted into the Performance Coach Qualification (PCQ) programme, the highest level available in New Zealand.

``We wanted to recognise the special game expertise that former players can offer but also support them to develop their coaching skills, such as, planning, managing a team and the theory underpinning strength and conditioning,’’ Netball Central High Performance Director Waimarama Taumaunu said.

``Putting eight coaches onto the course in one year is quite an accomplishment. Having all of our Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse and National league (formerly Beko league) coaches with the PCQ qualification is one of the objectives of our high performance programme.

``These eight coaches have devoted a huge amount of time and effort this year to ensuring they meet and exceed the Netball New Zealand performance criteria for entry to PCQ.’’

Having performed as players in the semi-professional environment, the eight successful CCQ graduates are now refining their expertise in the coaching arena as they look to complete the challenging PCQ curriculum.

A Silver Ferns trialist, Wiffen had an extensive playing career in Wellington with the Pulse, Capital Shakers, NPC and age-group level before moving into coaching where she has been involved with Kapiti club and age-group teams.

Solia has forged an impressive coaching career after shining for many years as a player with Wellington, the Capital Shakers, Pulse, Magic and Samoa. Coach of Samoa at this year’s Netball World Cup, Solia has also coached Wellington age-group teams, the Kapi Mana NPC team and is a former Pulse and Central Manawa assistant coach.

The world’s best shooter during her playing days, Netball Central Zone Junior Development Officer, van Dyk has become heavily immersed in coaching. She regularly conducts workshops sharing her knowledge with community and centre coaches, has coached Wellington age-group and club teams, been a specialist coach with the Pulse and is a key figure in the Netball New Zealand-New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Pacific Sporting Partnership (PSP) initiative, helping with coaching programmes in schools in Pacific Island countries.

A Manawatu and Ikaroa Ki Te Raki Maori representative, Araroa-Waerea has followed a similar path after moving into coaching where she has coached various Palmerston North Girls’ High School teams as well as Ikaroa Ki Te Raki Maori and Manawatu age-group teams.

After playing for Taranaki and the Flyers, Kelly worked for the Taranaki Regional Sports Trust before moving to Whanganui to take up a new position. She remains a Taranaki Netball board member and is now director of netball at Whanganui Collegiate.

Matoe is head of the netball programme at Manukura school, achieving consistent success at the Lower North Island and New Zealand Secondary Schools tournaments as head coach in recent years. As a player, Matoe was an age-group representative while being a key cog for the Central Manawa team in the Beko league in 2017 and 2017.

Recently appointed as an assistant coach for the 2020 Central Manawa team, Weenink quickly moved into coaching after a successful playing career, which included being part of the NZU21 squad and New Zealand Secondary Schools team. She has been involved with coaching at school, club, university and age-group level in recent years in Wellington.   

A stalwart for Hawke’s Bay as a player, Kupa also played for the Flyers and is now coach of Napier Girls High School, taking them to nationals this year.