Regional | Coach

Legendary first Māori coach of the Silver Ferns Taini Jamison passes away

Source / Whakaata Māori

By NZ Herald

Legendary former Silver Ferns coach Taini Jamison has died at the age of 97.

Jamison, who led the Silver Ferns to their first world title at the 1967 Netball World Cup, passed away in the early hours of Friday morning.

A funeral will be held in her hometown of Rotorua on Monday.

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie said Jamison was “a woman who was full of sparkle and mischievousness, but such an icon of our game”.

“On behalf of Netball New Zealand, we’d really want to acknowledge such a sad loss,” Wyllie told Newstalk ZB.

“She was a trailblazer in so many ways. Being the first Māori coach of our Silver Ferns was a fantastic achievement; to take them through to a Netball World Cup win as coach and a subsequent silver. She had such a great success rate and was loved by so many in our community.

“She had a strong desire to give back to the game and she did that for her entire life. And we were all beneficiaries of it. There are so many people in our game that have been touched by her, predominantly through her coaching, but her service, particularly in the Rotorua area, has just been phenomenal.”

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua, who had a close relationship with Jamison, said she was a pioneer and “one of the matriarchs of netball”.

“[She’s] definitely a person who has shared all of her knowledge throughout her life,” Taurua told Newstalk ZB.

“I always say once a coach, always a coach. When you walk in the room, she’s very clear about what she wants and how she wants to play the game. Her words are very articulate, so it’s quite an interesting space.

“We know her very well in Magic country - Waikato, Bay of Plenty. When I was playing, she was the victorious coach of Rotorua at that time. They were in the nationals and they were competing against Auckland and all these bigwigs.

“I have fond memories of being a player, and also a coach and also a friend of hers.”

Taurua said Jamison will be remembered for “her manner, her approach, her wisdom, her openness to share and the love that she had for our game”.

The Silver Ferns recorded a special mihi for Taini Jamison in 2020.  Source / Whakaata Māori

Jamison was a “dearly loved wife to Thomas Edric Jamison, mother to Tom and Marie, nan to Ben and Elaine, Victoria and taua to Piper”, read an obituary in the Dominion Post.

“A very passionate, motivated lady that will be missed by all that knew her.”

Jamison is the most successful coach in Silver Ferns history, with 18 wins in 20 tests (90 per cent win percentage) from 1967 to 1971.

The Taini Jamison trophy, which is contested between the Silver Ferns and visiting international teams other than Australia, is named in her honour.

In the 1994 New Year Honours, Jamison was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to netball.

She was inducted into the Māori Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and was made a life member of Netball New Zealand in 2010.