Fair Play

Commonwealth Games will Test Silver Ferns

Silver Ferns,Silver ferns, women's netball, women's cricket, women's rugby, Commonwealth Games will Test Silver Ferns
Silver Ferns

New Zealand Netball is under pressure to improve the national team’s form ahead of the Commonwealth Games and also maintain its ratings for TV time

Fair Play, presented by Zoe George, is a co-production of Radio New Zealand & WiSP Sports Radio

Podcast length: 35′ 18″

On this month’s episode  Zoe George discusses  the upcoming Commonwealth Games with Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant, how to avoid burnout with sports psychologist Karen Nimmo and we get an update on the potty parity situation at the basin reserve.  This month’s co-host is Netball Central’s CEO Carolyn Young who was appointed to that role in 2013 and the Central Pulse – Zoe’s local team – has gone from strength to strength in that time. Last year they finished second in the major national league, and this year they are looking at doing one better. But sport is more than just athletes and results… it’s about inspiring women into governance roles. But how do we do that?  Sport New Zealand has called for 20 more women on sports boards and to be on a board you need to have an established executive career… so how do we get that career? What steps do we need to take to be proactive in this environment? And where can we find good mentors to show us the way. Zoe calls it like it is and she wants to know if the Silver Ferns came find their groove in time for the Commonwealth Games after losing to Jamaica this past weekend 59 to 53 for the Taini Jamison Trophy. It’s the first time since 2008 the Ferns have lost the title. Former Ferns assistant coach Robyn Broughton says New Zealand has taken its eye of the competition and is worried about the Commonwealth Games.  Zoe asks Silver Ferns Captain, and some-time Fair Play co-host Katrina Grant what she has to say about that.

The Commonwealth Games are being held on the Gold Coast and start of April 4th. The Silver Ferns first game is against Uganda on Thursday April 5. Their biggest game will come against England on April 11th.

New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games team consists of about 250 athletes across 18 sports. First the first time women’s rugby 7s will be included. And it’s the first time New Zealand has sent a transgendered athlete to represent us.

Zoe and Carolyn discuss weightlifter Laurel Hubbard and access to sport for transgendered athletes. Her inclusion has caused a number of people to speak out about her inclusion, including the head of Australian Weightlifting.

Because of Laurel’s inclusion discussions around transgendered athletes inclusion has grown. Most recently an article about downhill mountain biker Kate Weatherly was published talking about her transition from male to female. Within the article, published by Fairfax in New Zealand, it says her testosterone level is the same as, if not lower than most female athletes’.

She recently won the national champs, beating her nearest competitor by 13 seconds. Weatherly had previously competed in the men’s competition, finishing in the middle of the pack.

BMX development coach Ash Rawson says: “[Kate] has developed as a male as far as bone structure, bone density, muscle mass, lung capacity – it’s why we have gender sports.”

This raises the question – do we need to remove the gender segregation from sport and focus purely on skill?

Staying with netball… it was reported earlier this month that women’s rugby is putting netball under threat. NZ Rugby has recently announced an investment in women’s rugby, with pay and paid parental leave on the cards.

And with the Black Ferns and Women’s 7s winning tournaments left right and centre, it’s drawing the attention of women and girls.

Staying with rugby highly regarded Black Ferns and All Blacks team Doctor Dr Deb Robinson has been appointed as NZ Rugby’s first female rep on the World Rugby Council.

This follows a reform by the council that says the 11 unions and six regional associations have the right to send an additional representative to council, as long as that person is a female. This will increase the number of people on the council from 32 to 49, with the 17 new reps all female. Well done deb!

Also, Tonga has done a flip flop on girls playing rugby. A letter from Tonga’s ministry of education told staff at Tonga High School that girls shouldn’t be participating in rugby or boxing because it goes against young women’s dignity and Tongan culture and traditions.

But the Tongan prime minister has overridden the ban saying the letter doesn’t represent official government policy and that they “actively encourage the participation of every Tongan student in all sports without discrimination”.

Zoe spoke to sports psychologist and Fair Play co-host Karen Nimmo earlier about burn out to get her advice on what it is and how to recognize and deal with it.

On to cricket…

The White Ferns had a convincing series white wash against the West Indies over the past couple of weeks. I was able to catch some of the game at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth last week when the windies when into the last over needing only 5 runs. But the Ferns took three quick wickets and changed the game. Impressive bowling under pressure.

Also, the Ferns have announced a new coach. Former Blackcap Jake Oram has been named as bowling coach.

Zoe asked NZ Cricket about their pathways for female coaches and this was their response:

“NZC supports four different categories of coaching training, the most advanced of which is NZC’s Performance Coach programme, which targets coaches at high-performance level. Canterbury Magicians coach Maria Lankeshwar is currently completing this course.

At the next level down, we support, and encourage MAs to nominate appropriate coaches for the “Performance Coach Advance” (PCA) which is an established programme introduced by Sport NZ to improve the quality of coaching provided to pre-elite emerging players. Our advice to MAs is that coaches of women’s U21 sides should have this qualification.

The most recent women to have completed (or are currently completing) their PCA are: Maria Lankeshwar (Nee’ Fahey), Rachel Candy, Amy Satterthwaite and Sophie Devine.

Women are also encouraged to attend the annual Level 1 and Level 2 courses held in, and by Major Associations. Felicity Leydon-Davis has just completed her level 2 qualification in Northern Districts.

At grassroots level we provide interactive, online “foundation” courses for male and female coaches.  This comprises a programme to coach junior players of modified formats with a soft ball, and an advanced foundation course targeting coaches of players playing with a hard ball. Interestingly, five out of the eleven coaches who completed this course in Southland are women.”

And… interestingly when I was watching the White Ferns, they announced our openers as Batsmen – it’s the traditional term, but is it time we scrap it and just call it batter

And finally…


Our ongoing discussion around the toilets at the Basin Reserve… where there are currently more men’s than women’s toilets and only one disabled toilet and one family room. Cricket Wellington said there had been no movement on the toilet situation… so I contacted the Wellington city council.

They said:

“We are starting work with architects on the designs to upgrade and extend the existing toilets and facilities on the embankment, with works likely to start next winter (2019/20) as work can only be done outside of the cricket season. 

“There are further plans for additional toilets, including accessible toilets, but this project is yet to be approved, so can’t give you any confirmed details on that yet.  

“A report on plans for the Museum Stand is scheduled for April-May, so we will have more information then.”

Hopefully we will be able to bring you more information in April about their progress.


Fair Play March 2018 – Silver Ferns still chasing gold

Silver Ferns loss: ‘If we just had a game plan’

Growth of women’s rugby puts netball under threat

Tongan prime minister overrides girls’ rugby ban






Photo: Silver Ferns [Commons Wikipedia]
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