The Northern Mystics have paid a special tribute to the late Kingi Taurua who passed away two days ago. Ahead of the Auckland franchise match against the Tactix in the ANZ Premiership Netball competition, the team reflected on Mr. Taurua’s daughter Noeline who assisted the club in previous years.
Former Silver Fern Defender Anna Harrison says, “On behalf of myself and the team, a lot of netballers out there send their condolences to the family because it is a tough time. It's always difficult to lose a family member.”
During a dogged training this weekend two days out from round four of the competition, coach Helen Wilson gave recognition to Kingi for his services to the Māori community.
Wilson says, “I know he's Ngāpuhi and I know he was a great servant of the Māori people and very proud. I guess the qualities I see in Noeline as a coach come from the way she was brought up with her dad. Being truthful and standing up for what you believe. I think that's one of the great qualities that all the netballers have loved about having Noeline as a coach.”
He was also a staunch supporter of netball over the years. One of Noeline’s fondest memories was hearing her dad “yelling” from the courtside.
Former team player of Noeline and Labour MP Louisa Wall also gave her condolences.
Louisa Wall told Te Kāea during the 40th anniversary of Bastion Point, “He's an incredible man and obviously a man who wore his identity on his kanohi (face), and always welcoming for us going up to Waitangi.”
Meanwhile, the Mystics are looking for improvement as Anna Harrison continues to captain the side after their loss to the Southern Steel last week. She hopes the team turns the tables around against the Tactix this Monday in Christchurch for the first time this year.
“I don't think we're in a different position but we're still building and I think we're tracking up and there's no way we should be resting on our laurels because that's not the attitude to have," says Harrison.