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Legendary coach to be honoured

June 22, 2014

A new trophy will be contested annually in tribute to legendary netball coach Robyn Broughton.

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel and Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse will compete for the honour of claiming the Robyn Broughton Legacy Trophy during an ANZ Premiership match each season – the first encounter to be held on July 1 at ILT Stadium Southland.

For Donna Wilkins, who was coached by Broughton for the majority of her extensive career as a shooter in both teams, it was the perfect scenario.

“Having this game in Robbie’s honour is a nice touch to celebrate everything she did in our province for netball – from coaching the school kids to the elite players. And it is extremely fitting to have this match against the Pulse where Robbie finished her coaching career,” she said.

“Truthfully, she would probably hate the fuss but deep down she would be humbled. It is always important to remember those who have gone before us, especially those who had such a massive impact on our sport like Robbie did. It is a great way to remember her, not only for us as a netball community but for her family as well.”

Broughton’s success as a domestic coach was unrivalled, guiding Steel’s predecessor the Southern Sting to 10 national finals and claiming seven championships.

“Robbie brought a lot of knowledge and passion. She was always striving to be better and always hunting out the latest netball news,” Wilkins said.

“Her ability to mould a team that always wanted to win for her first and self second was incredible. She had such an amazing way with athletes which seemed to bring out the best in us all. And, of course, she added her humour into the mix.”

Wilkins had fond memories of representing both franchises during her sporting career.

“The years of the Southern Sting were unbelievable. Not only the netball but the community vibe and support during those years can never be forgotten. Finals every year and seven titles, all with Robbie at the helm coaching us,” she said.

“Being able to finish my netball career in Wellington for the Pulse under Robbie was an honour. And I will always be grateful to the Pulse franchise for enabling me to do that.

“I had some pretty amazing teammates over those years and lots of great memories.”

Her expectations for the inaugural memorial game were simple.

“Respect for Robbie. It is a chance to honour her memory and the contribution she made to both franchises with a battle played with passion and patience! And wouldn’t it be awesome to have this game played in front of a packed house! Just like the old Sting days!”

As for the pre-match team talk Broughton would have likely delivered?

“She would probably be telling us off for talking! Or for not having our netball shoes on for team talk. She would go through us individually and offer thoughts on what she wanted us to do for the game. And she would forget to name the starting line up!,” Wilkins mused.

For now, Steel’s immediate focus will be on halting the winning form of the Trident Homes Tactix in this afternoon’s ANZ Premiership game at ILT Stadium Southland.

Tickets to games are available from the venue or online at


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