Well-credentialled high performance coach Yvette McCausland-Durie has been appointed specialist coach for the Fiji Pearls ahead of the Netball World Cup (NWC23) in South Africa this July.
In a ground-breaking development, the Ako Coaching Initiative NWC23 between Netball Fiji, Netball New Zealand (NNZ) and Netball Central Zone (NCZ) provides the first opportunity for one of NZs leading high performance coaches to work alongside and provide support to other nations at the upcoming NWC.
Previously, NNZ High Performance Coaching in conjunction with High Performance Sport NZ, have been able to provide coach development opportunities observing at an international level, this initiative providing a more hands-on role.
McCausland-Durie the current head coach of the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse, named 2022 ANZ Premiership Coach of the Year, will support Fiji Pearls head coach, Una Rokoura in the team’s preparation for the NWC and will head to Suva on January 21 for a nine-day camp with the Pearls. She will also travel with the Pearls to compete at NWC23.
The Ako Coaching Initiative is a unique approach. In Te Ao Māori, the concept of ako means both to teach and to learn. It is underpinned by reciprocal relationships and recognises the knowledge that both coaches bring to learning interactions. Ako acknowledges the way that new knowledge and understandings can grow out of shared learning experiences.
The shared vision is that two coaches from two countries will build a strength-based campaign that will optimise the performance of the Fiji Pearls at NWC23, at the same time as developing world class capabilities of a Fiji and New Zealand head coach.
Netball Fiji CEO Vivian Koster, Netball Fiji President RubyAnn Sorovaki, Fran Scholey CEO of Netball Central and Jennie Wyllie CEO of Netball NZ are acknowledged for their instrumental roles in getting the initiative up and running.
It is also intended that the Fiji Pearls will have a camp in Wellington in May, where they will continue their preparation with specialised training while also having an opportunity to watch the National Netball League Grand Final and Pulse vs MG Mystics match.
NWC23 will be the 16th staging of the premier competition in international netball, contested every four years, set to be held in Cape Town from July 28 – August 6.