Canterbury Touch Rugby has honoured Touch Blacks coach Leana Te Ohaere-Fox by inducting her into their Legends Club. Te Ohaere-Fox received the accolade after representing her province for 10 years.
Back at the National Championships in Auckland, where she made a name for herself, the former New Zealand representative puts this achievement at the top.
“Just from my peers from Canterbury to recognise what I've done is huge,” says Te Ohaere-Fox (Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Porou).
The concept was set up by Touch Canterbury to recognise men who have played for 15 years, and women who have played for 10. Te Ohaere-Fox is only the second female to be inducted. Fellow New Zealand representative Justin Puddle was also recognised after achieving the milestone.
“They only had one female, and four males initially. Receiving these pounamu was amazing. I think he (Justin Puddle) would be appreciative as I am.”
Te Ohaere-Fox - who is now coaching the Canterbury open women’s side - speaks highly of Puddle who is currently running around with players who weren’t even born when he made his debut.
“He's got a lot of Mana about him. He actually has played for many years for Canterbury and Bay of Plenty. Last year, he actually played 40's Men's, and he decided this year to come back into the Opens grade and help bring some of that youth through and development.”
Early on day two, Canterbury were one win, one loss, and a draw after three games. However, Te Ohaere-Fox is optimistic.
“I still feel like we're progressing. It was always going to be a marathon for us, not really trying to show all our cards on the first day. We've got a lot work on, but I'm happy with our progress.”
Win or lose, Te Ohaere-Fox will finish the tournament a winner after the accolade shown to her by Touch Canterbury.