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    Wales Netball

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    March 21, 2023

Welsh Feathers appoint Southern Steel coach in Netball World Cup role

Wales Netball are pleased to announce that Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel head coach Reinga Bloxham has been appointed as a specialist coach for the Welsh Feathers, ahead of the NWC in Cape Town.

Bloxham will join the Welsh Feathers coaching ranks at the end of the ANZ Premiership arriving in Cardiff on June 15th. Bloxham will work with Head Coach Emily Handyside and the squad, in a virtual capacity in the build up to NWC23 prior to arriving in Cardiff.

Sara Moore, Head of Elite for Wales Netball was delighted to get the agreement with NNZ and Southern Steel over the line, stating:

“This is a great opportunity for us, and for Reinga. We have been in discussions with NNZ and Netball South for some time and I’m really pleased that we have secured a coach of Reinga’s quality to support the Welsh Feathers ahead of NWC23. It’s going to be hugely beneficial for both coaches to work together, challenge and learn from each other. It’s also going to bring a different flavour to our Welsh Feathers squad. It’s been fantastic working with NNZ and Netball South to make it happen.”

The agreement is part of a valuable High Performance Coach Development opportunity, the NNZ Ako Coaching Initiative. In Te Ao Maori, the concept of ako means both to teach and to learn. It is underpinned by reciprocal relationships and recognises the knowledge that both coaches bring to learning interactions. The shared vision is that two coaches from two countries will build a strength-based campaign which will optimise the performance of the Welsh Feathers at NWC23, at the same time as developing world class capabilities of a Wales and New Zealand head coach.

NNZ national coaching manager Tania Karauria said it was a great opportunity for Bloxham:

“It’s fantastic for another ANZ Premiership coach to have this experience on the international stage,” she said.

Reinga Bloxham described the chance to be involved with the team and its coaching group as “a privilege.” “Observing a World Cup from the outside would be great but to be involved in the preparation, the highs and lows of the World Cup itself and then the debrief process gives me a whole new level of learning and an understanding of what is required for international coaching. I’m looking forward to the challenge of entering a new environment and being able to learn but also share my knowledge and coaching, particularly from a defensive perspective. It’s an awesome initiative to grow us as coaches and work collaboratively to extend our skills and learn from new experiences and this has to be good for our game.”

NNZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie, Wales Netball chief executive Vicki Sutton and Netball South Zone chief executive Sonya Fleming have been instrumental in securing this opportunity, each of them seeing the wider benefits a partnership of this nature will bring to all involved.

For further information see the following press releases:

Netball New Zealand: Netball New Zealand (netballnz.co.nz)

Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel: Southern Steel Netball ANZ Premiership for New Zealand Netball

Photo courtesy of Michael Bradley Photo: www.mbphoto.co.nz @mbphotonz

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