Big offer for netball coach

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Abbey McKenzie

North Otago’s busiest sports mum gets another role

Abbey McKenzie still can not quite believe how fast her netball coaching career has progressed.

North Otago netball’s busiest woman has been given another exciting opportunity to develop her craft – now she just needs to work out how to fit everything into her busy week.

McKenzie has been selected as an “observation coach” to join the management team of the Netball South team in the Beko League, the level just underneath the ANZ Premiership.

It will mean another opportunity to watch her mentor, the great Georgie Salter, on a regular basis, and also to work with coaches Dana Bond, former Silver Ferns shooter Donna Wilkins and Lana Morrison.

“My understanding is I just basically get to observe and learn and continue to expand my knowledge,” McKenzie said.

“I’m really excited about it. It’s the perfect next step for me.”

McKenzie said she had been fortunate to have already learned a lot off Salter.

She was looking forward to soaking up the knowledge of the other coaches.

It is the second major appointment for McKenzie this season, and her netball schedule now looks incredibly hectic.

She has been promoted to Southern A coach, and will lead the Magpies as they attempt to win the Dunedin premier title for a sixth straight season.

It will mean trips to Dunedin twice a week for trainings and games.

McKenzie is also the Valley netball president, and may sneak in a game or two as a player.

She will also work in a coaching and player development role for North Otago netball.

“Basically, my life is netball,” she said.

“I’m not quite sure how I’m going to be a mother in the middle of that. But I’m lucky that a lot of netball trainings are at night, when the kids are in bed.

“And I have a pretty amazing husband who’s very capable of looking after his girls, even though he’s just as busy.”

McKenzie and husband Hamish, the Waitaki Boys’ High School First XV rugby coach, have two young daughters, Harper (3) and Milla (10 months).