HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

Silver Ferns Coach celebrates birthday in Rarotonga

Close family and friends joined NZ Silver Ferns Netball Coach Waimarama Taumaunu and husband George Metuarau in celebrating Wai’s 50th birthday as well as celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary over the weekend.
What was supposed to have been a “closely guarded secret surprise birthday” could not be contained as sporting personalities including former All Blacks captain Buck Shelford, Julie Wilson, Judge Hemi Taumaunu (Wai’s brother), Kevin Iro and other distinguished guests including our very own former PIC netball rep Rangi Johnson and close friend Margaret Matenga another former Silver Fern and PIC team mate joined others to pay tribute to a netball icon.
It was truly an occasion to be remembered. Despite the intermittent rain, the evening was enjoyed by everyone including Wai’s children who MC’d the function as well as her daughter performing a dance routine with other family members to honour her mum’s birthday.
The various speakers throughout the night paid tribute to Wai for her contributions to netball and how she has greatly influenced the participation of Maori and Pacific netball players at the highest levels of the sport. Her 15 yr old daughter summed it up when she spoke by saying “if you can do it, then so can I.” The speeches were full of fun and humour about Wai’s netball past capped off by comments from both Wai and Buck Shelford as to how they met and how their friendship grew over the years through sports.
Although netball has been her lifetime passion, she has never forgotten her family roots and the many people who supported her throughout. Her final ambition is to now steer the Silver Ferns to another World Championships win and to see more Maori and Pacific players as part of the team.
Judge Taumaunu (Wai’s brother) summed it up beautifully when he added that this was not just a celebration of 2 people’s but a celebration of 2 cultures connecting in honour of 2 special people. He jokingly stated that perhaps it was time to “come home” and claim Paikea and the lands associated with Paikea much to the amusement and jest of the locals present. Overall, a wonderful celebration in beautiful surroundings, fabulous food and in the company of amazing personalities from the sports, entertainment and cultural fields to pay tribute to a wonderful sports ambassador for netball.
To cap the evening off, 2 cakes were prepared, one huge delectable chocolate cake baked by Rangi herself and the other by Tina Iro depicting the emblems of PIC and the Silver Ferns Insignia on it. A fitting tribute to a lovely woman who chose to celebrate this special occasion on the Rock with family and friends.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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