1 year ago

Irene van Dyk named centenary ambassador

Legendary Silver Ferns goal shoot Irene van Dyk will play a key role for Netball New Zealand next year as the sport's governing body celebrates 100 years in Aotearoa.

Van Dyk, who played 145 Tests for the Ferns after making her debut in 2000, will feature as an instantly recognisable ambassador for Netball NZ in its 2024 centenary celebration as the first netball association in the world to reach that milestone.

She also played 72 Tests for South Africa after debuting in 1994, retiring from international netball in 2014. Van Dyk was part of New Zealand's World Cup winning team in 2003, also winning silver medal in 2007 and 2011, and Commonwealth Games gold in 2006 and 2010. 

Netball helped open pathways for her from a young age, van Dyk said.

“It's an honour to be able to give something back as a centenary ambassador, and I'm really looking forward to it,” she said.

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie said the organisation was thrilled to have van Dyk on board.

“Irene is a legend, an icon of the game on and off the court here and overseas, and it's wonderful to have her on board for our centenary celebrations,” she said.

Wyllie said netball had led the way for women's sport in New Zealand over the last hundred years, setting the standard in providing pathways for women and girls at all levels, from high performance through to community netball at all ages.

“We're custodians of the sport more than anything else - we can look back to the past to see how we've evolved, and use that knowledge to build for the future.”

Netball New Zealand is also partnering with the Auckland War Memorial Museum in an exhibition from September 2024 to highlight netball's unique place in New Zealand's social history.


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