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Bev Douglas awarded NNZ’s highest honour

Much admired for her invaluable contribution across many facets of the game, former national President Beverley (Bev) Douglas has been awarded Life Membership of Netball New Zealand.

With over 50 years involvement in netball, Douglas became a stalwart of the sport while holding a multitude of managerial and administrative roles following an active playing and coaching career to be acknowledged with NNZ’s highest honour.

Having her first taste of netball as a player at Lichfield Primary School, in the South Waikato District, in 1959, Douglas soon left her mark on the court when making the Morrinsville College first team as a third former, also gaining her local umpiring badge while still at school. From the fourth form and for the following three years, Douglas represented Waikato Sub Association at the national tournament.

After getting married in 1967, Douglas moved to Auckland where she joined the local Otahuhu Netball Club. From 1968-1971, she played A grade for Tamaki Mangere under Pam Barham, who captained the Silver Ferns at the first Netball World Cup in 1963 before moving to and coaching Australia. Barham’s influence on Douglas resonated strongly and led her down the coaching pathway.

From 1971-1974, Douglas coached the College Rifles Premier team, loving the club and level but finding it difficult with two small children.

That led to a new and exciting venture with Papatoetoe High School which coincided with the growing popularity of college netball as the preferred sport for girls. She even took a school team to Australia during this time.

From 1979-1988, Douglas was coach of the Papatoetoe Rangers Premier team, the club growing from just a few teams to 22 by the time she finished.

As a representative coach, Douglas coached the Auckland Sub Association U18 team in 1979-1982, the U21 team in 1983 and the seniors in 1984-1987. This involved travelling to all the national tournaments during those years.

There were no bounds to what Douglas contributed across the breadth of netball as she moved into management with great success during the 1990s. She was manager of the New Zealand U21 team from 1992-1994 which included the World Youth Championships held in Fiji in 1992 where New Zealand won the title for the first time.

From 1994-1996, she managed the Young International and Youth Teams, who toured Canada and South Africa before becoming College Rifles manager in 1996-1998.

In 1997 Douglas was appointed the Manager Facilitator for Netball New Zealand.

A dab hand on many fronts, Douglas was involved in the administration side of netball from a young age, her lengthy experience beginning while she was still a player.

Her roles included Auckland Netball Association Executive (1969-1971),

Secretary Auckland Netball Association (1972-1974), President Papatoetoe Rangers Netball Club (22 teams, 1982-1990), Auckland Netball Union Secretary (1989-1992),

Netball New Zealand Board (1997-1999), Diamonds Franchise Board (1998-2006),

Auckland/Waitakere Netball Region Chairperson (1999-2005), Auckland Netball (2006-2017), President Netball New Zealand (2015-2018), President Auckland Netball Centre (2018-2022).

Between 1989 and 2004, Douglas was also involved in important behind the scenes roles which included being the TVNZ netball statistician, World Championship statistician, and Event Manager for the Diamonds, Auckland Area and the Fisher and Paykel Series and New Zealand Tests.

She was made a Life Member of Auckland Netball in 2007 while receiving a Papatoetoe Rangers Netball Club Service Award in 1984. Douglas also achieved her Provincial and NZ Theory Umpiring qualification.

In the wider community, Douglas has been on the Board of the Pauanui Sports and Recreation Club since 2008, becoming President in later years. She has also been Club Captain of the Pauanui Women’s Golf Club Committee, President of the Pauanui Bridge Club, and has organised community fundraising events.

Acknowledged for her services to netball and the community, Douglas was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the 2022 New Year Honours.

Others to be acknowledged in 2024 with NNZ Service Awards:

Mathew Chambers
Pauline Coultas
Shirley Hobson
Margaret Lloyd
Patrick Maxwell
Sandy Phear
Andrew Rogers
Irene van Dyk

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