The latest news and updates from Netball New Zealand

Cadbury Volunteer of the Year winners announced

Netball New Zealand has celebrated the sport’s community volunteers at the Cadbury Netball Series against England, announcing this year’s Cadbury Volunteer of the Year award winners.

Jason Pope, Amelia Wheeler, Jo Morriss, Georgia Trent and Dana Turnbull were presented with their awards during the third Test between the Silver Ferns and English Roses at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton – recognition for their contribution to the sport in one of the most demanding years for grassroots netball.

Finding ways to keep his netball community connected during a COVID disrupted season was highlighted in Pope’s nomination with the Hamilton policeman being awarded the Cadbury Volunteer Coach of the Year.

His young teams – who, thanks to Cadbury, were courtside to support their coach during the award presentation – have described Pope as the ‘best coach ever’ having guided netballers from The Endeavour Primary School for two seasons.

This year he live-streamed games so whānau could watch during Level 2 restrictions, and his ability to build confidence in players while teaching them rules and ensuring they have fun has earned him the respect from many in his Zone.

Young Wellington umpire, Amelia Wheeler, was named as Cadbury Volunteer Official of the Year having been described as a ‘real ambassador’ of the game from a young age.

Wheeler is an umpire coach for player umpires in Wellington East and is a board intern who provides not only the youth voice but the umpires’ voice at board meetings.

She tutors the New Zealand and Zone theory classes and helped to set up online classes when COVID restrictions disrupted the season.

Waiuku’s Jo Morriss was named the Cadbury Volunteer Administrator of the Year recognising her longstanding service to the Waiuku Netball Centre where she has been on the executive for a number of years.

Morriss has been the Centre’s draw steward for six years and coached for seven while remaining a senior player in both winter and summer leagues.

She is well known for delivering outstanding results and this year took on extra responsibilities as the Centre moved a number of projects online including a new management system.

Cadbury’s Youth Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Dunedin youngster Georgia Trent who has held many roles at both Centre and national level.

She has assisted in NNZ-led projects including a youth project at Dunedin Netball and an umpire development programme.

Whilst juggling university studies, Trent is also on the NNZ Youth Board and is a youth representative/intern on the NNZ Board, along with working on a number of advisory groups.

Eastern Southland’s Dana Turnbull’s dedication to FutureFERNS has seen her awarded the Cadbury Volunteer Community Champion of the Year.

Turnbull, who has also coached a number of school teams, has served for over 10 years on the executive committee at Netball Eastern Southland where she has been the voice for the youngest netballers at grassroots level.

Acting as a mentor to many coaches coming through, Turnbull has produced an outstanding platform for all of those who play in Gore to progress through the grades.

Meanwhile, three other volunteers were also recognised with ‘highly commended’ awards including Jane Robinson (Hauraki Plains/Waikato-BOP) in the Officials category, Tracey Heads (Rotorua/Waikato-BOP) in the Community Champion section and Chontel Radt (Kerikeri/Northern) also in the Community Champion category.

2020 Cadbury Volunteer of the Year Awards

Coach: Jason Pope, Hamilton, Waikato-BOP Zone

Official: Amelia Wheeler, Wellington, Central Zone

Administrator: Jo Morriss, Waiuku, Northern Zone

Youth: Georgia Trent, Dunedin, South Zone

Community Champion: Dana Turnbull, Eastern Southland, South Zone