Netball coach Robyn Broughton to be honoured - October 17, 2023
In honour of a legendary netball coach, the Silver Ferns will take on the world champion Australian Diamonds at the aptly-named Robyn Broughton Stadium this Thursday night.
Paying homage to Broughton, who sadly passed away in September, Invercargill’s netball fortress ILT Stadium Southland will be renamed for the third test of the Constellation Cup.
Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie acknowledged Broughton’s legacy.
“Robyn was undoubtedly an icon of our sport and her impact on our game was immense. Regardless of whether she was mentoring players at the grassroots or elite international level, her passion never wavered,” she said.
“It’s seems fitting that this is a moment where our sport can pay tribute to Robyn in front of one of her most important communities, at home in Southland, by renaming the stadium where she enjoyed so much success during her notable career.
“Coaches the calibre of Robyn have played an important role in netball’s evolution in the modern era and it will be exciting to see the Silver Ferns and the Diamonds showcase that at Robyn Broughton Stadium.”
One of New Zealand’s most successful domestic coaches, Broughton etched out a remarkable career across all facets of the sport and was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to netball, in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours.
She led the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Sting to seven National Bank Cup titles between 1998 and 2007 before taking the reins of its successor the Steel from 2008 to 2011 in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. She then spent four seasons with the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse from 2012 to 2015.
Her international achievements included coaching a World 7 to victory over Australia in 2009, a World FastNet title in 2010 and three years as assistant coach to the Silver Ferns.
Broughton’s unrivalled dedication to the sport saw her inducted as a life member of both Netball Southland and Netball New Zealand.
Former Silver Ferns Donna Wilkins and Wendy Frew, who were coached by Broughton for the majority of their extensive sporting careers, were proud to see the tribute.
“I think it is important to honour Robbie and the commitment she had to Southland. Robbie loved being part of this community,” Wilkins said.
“It is pretty hard to measure the impact which Robbie had on the game of netball in Southland as she coached across all levels. Everyone will have a story of their connection with Robbie. This stadium was built because of her success.
“She would hate all this fuss as she was a pretty private person but I’m sure she will be looking down with a grin.”
Frew had a similar honour bestowed in 2018 when she retired after 17 seasons in the southern franchise.
“To see your name up there on the front of the building as you walk into the stadium is a massive honour and something I won’t ever forget. Public recognition certainly wasn’t a big motivator for Rob but I’m sure this would bring a smile.”
The third Test of the Constellation Cup series starts at 7.30pm on Thursday, October 19.