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Sharon Kearney returns to Netball NZ as NetballSmart Programme Manager

Former Silver Ferns physiotherapist Sharon Kearney will return to the Netball New Zealand fold having been appointed as the NetballSmart Programme Manager.

She will start immediately in the role which has a focus on injury prevention and performance enhancement delivered through the NetballSmart programme across the country.

The programme’s objectives are to improve player welfare and look at decreasing serious injuries in netball players.

NNZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said Kearney was a great fit for the position and the programme having worked at various levels of the game coupled with her research into netball related injuries.

“Sharon has a huge amount of knowledge and experience in injury prevention and performance enhancement and a long association with netball,” she said. “We look forward to her joining our team.”

Kearney was the Silver Ferns physiotherapist from 1993 to 1995 and again from 2002 to 2015 where she attended six world championships and two Commonwealth Games. She was also the Ferns’ medical co-ordinator for 13 years.

During that time she played a key role in managing the return to play rehabilitation of a number of Silver Ferns – enabling them to continue and extend their careers in netball – including Jodi Brown, Anna Rowberry, Kayla Cullen, Grace Rasmussen and Bailey Mes.

Kearney also guided the return to play plan for former Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua, alongside Rone Thompson (HPSNZ physiotherapist) after the defender sustained a potentially career-ending injury in 2014.

The new neuromuscular warm-up at ACC, which has been implemented at all levels of competition from ANZ futureFERNS through to the Silver Ferns, was a programme developed by Kearney and is now fully integrated across the playing and coaching netball community.

She has also written and researched a wide variety of articles relating to netball injuries prevention and performance enhancement.

Kearney will work in a part-time capacity which will become full-time from the end of November, splitting her time between the Auckland office and her home base in Akaroa.