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September Cadbury Volunteer of the Month – Jane Bendall

Jane Bendall (or Aunty Janey as she is more commonly known) has touched the hearts of many through her volunteering at Waitakere Netball Centre in Auckland.

A volunteer for over 40 years, Jane is a part of many Netball families out West having seen two, three and sometimes four generations come through the gates.

Her Netball journey started when her eldest daughter started playing back in the 1980’s.

Jane and her late husband, Geoff Bendall, were the ultimate coaching duo who also provided fundraising support where needed. (Geoff was a Netball stalwart who went on to receive a NNZ Service Award in 2018).

“We just loved giving time to the kids so that it was possible for them to play, we got so much joy out of helping others that we just kept going after our youngest daughter finished Secondary School” says Jane.

Though having had many volunteer roles over the years, Jane has found her niche as an umpire.

On Saturday’s her dedication would see her on the courts, guiding and teaching the next generation of umpires in the morning followed by umpiring up to four senior games in the early afternoon, and ending with playing in her own game with opponents often 30-40 years her junior.

On Tuesday evenings, she would umpire another three games for the Secondary Schools Competition and Wednesday evenings she’s there with her whistle for the Premier grades.

Over the years Jane has also attended school and provincial Netball tournaments throughout the country as the team umpire.

“Nan has definitely put her NZ Theory Umpire qualification to good use” boasts Jane’s Granddaughter, Bronte.

“She’s happy passing on her knowledge to the next generation of umpires as she knows that without them there can be no game.”

Jane is considering pursuing the next step in the umpiring pathway, getting her NZC Umpire Award but jokes “the yoyo test is quite a challenge for a 64 year-old”.

In addition to her busy life as an umpire, Jane is on the umpire committee at Netball Waitakere and volunteers as Workforce at Northern Mystics and Silver Fern matches.

Following the passing of Geoff, Jane has taken up another volunteer role outside of Netball where she further impacts the lives of others as a Cancer Society volunteer.

Congratulations Jane on being one of the Cadbury Volunteer of the Month winners from around the country for September and well done to all our other Centre winners.

Cadbury Volunteer of the Month will return in the 2020 Netball season, be sure to keep an eye out to nominate your Volunteer Champion.