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Aitken unavailable: Silver Ferns with new coach

Tuesday 11 Oct 2011 11:42 a.m.

Waimarama Taumaunu's involvement in New Zealand netball lifted to another level when she was on Tuesday named Silver Ferns coach for the next four years.

A former New Zealand captain, Taumaunu represented New Zealand for 10 years from 1981, earning a formidable reputation as a no-nonsense goal defence.

She was part of New Zealand's world championship-winning team in 1987, and captained the Silver Ferns from 1989 to 1991.

Taumaunu's coaching background takes in experience in England and New Zealand. She was assistant coach for Ruth Aitken from 2008, filling the same role for Yvonne Willering in 1998.

She also worked as assistant coach in 2002-2003 for fellow Silver Fern Lyn Gunson when she was England coach.

Netball New Zealand chief executive Raelene Castle says Taumaunu's comprehensive coaching expertise, along with her strong vision for the Silver Ferns, were instrumental in her appointment.

"She brings a huge amount of experience, dedication and passion into her new role," Castle said.

Taumaunu, who will become just the ninth Silver Ferns coach since 1938, will lead New Zealand in their upcoming three-Test series against Australia beginning in Perth on October 23.

Aitken, national coach for the last 10 years, was originally scheduled to retire after the Australian series. But Taumaunu will take over immediately, with Aitken unavailable due to family reasons.

Taumaunu spent five years in England from 1998, as national performance director of All England Netball and was also a foundation director of the English Institute of Sport.

In New Zealand, she has worked on a number of government initiatives to boost sport - managing the CoachForce programme for Sparc, and developing coaching and Maori sport for the Hillary Commission.

NZN

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