Warrack Eagles score Kiwi netballer for coach

FORMER New Zealand representative netballer Pip Watene moved to the Wimmera about three months ago after scoring a job with Rural Northwest Health.

It did not take long for Warrack Eagles to snap up the town’s new social worker.

Watene said one of her co-workers – a long time Eagles member – invited her to check out the club.

“She asked me if I was into any sports and I said I loved touch rugby and I also play a bit of netball,” she said.

“She asked if I’d like to go along and meet the girls.”

Watene said last year’s coaches Jane Richardson and Peter Clayton approached her about the possibility of coaching.

“I said I’d love to, thinking they meant under 17s or C Grade, but they said those positions were full and asked me to coach A Grade,” she said. 

“I said I’d give it a go.”

Watene made her Wimmera league coaching debut on Saturday against Horsham Demons.

The Eagles endured a tough loss to two-time reigning premier Horsham Demons, going down 21 to 61.

“The community is really awesome and being part of netball gives me an extra insight into people’s lives.” - Warrack Eagles coach Pip Watene

Watene – who played representative netball for New Zealand between the ages of 14 and 21 – said there were many differences between her experiences in New Zealand and Warracknabeal.

“They use different techniques and skills here,” she said.

“It’s been great. I think there’s a good balance between what they’ve been taught and are already doing and what I can supply.”

Watene said she had introduced a number of new drills and techniques.

“I’ve been able to clarify why we are doing different things and the girls have shown great interest in learning new things,” she said.

Watene said she had settled into Warracknabeal with ease.

She moved to the Wimmera with her partner and six-year-old son. She also has a 13-year-old daughter who lives in New Zealand.

“I come from a rural area, so I knew we would adapt easily to Warracknabeal,” she said.

“The community is really awesome and being part of netball gives me an extra insight into people’s lives.”

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