Matamata mum is off to Glasgow
Silver Fern Casey Kopua’s biggest local fan, her mum Joanne Williams, will get to cheer her on in Glasgow with a bit of help from ANZ Bank.
Williams said she was excited to be able to see all the pool games as well as the final. Netball New Zealand had only been able to secure her tickets to a pool game. ‘‘It’s a long way to go if you were only going to see one pool game.’’
The Matamata woman was getting excited about her departure day of July 23 even though she would be taking the 26-hour flight to Glasgow alone.
‘‘ Unfortunately it is a busy time on the farm. We had our first calf on the weekend and it will be fast and frenetic at this time of year so my husband will have to stay home.’’
Williams and husband Murray have cheered on their daughter at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, and the Netball World Cup in Singapore in 2011.
They were already trying to organise tickets to the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
Kopua, who is captain of the Silver Ferns, started playing netball as a sixyear-old at Hinuera School. Because of her height, Kopua often played with older girls.
‘‘She was so tall that she didn’t look that different from the 11 and 12-yearolds she was playing with.’’
Williams said her daughter benefited from attending Matamata College where she was fortunate to have Anne Taylor, a former Silver Fern, as her coach.
‘‘She is someone she looks up to even now, she values her comments,’’ the proud mum said.
Williams was asked to trial for the Ferns herself when she was younger, but this didn’t eventuate because she was pregnant with her first child.
The Matamata local said she and her husband Murray act as a soundboard for Kopua.
Kopua visits her parents’ Matamata dairy farm once a week when she isn’t away playing.
Williams said the home visits helped relieve her daughter of the pressure that comes with being captain of the Silver Ferns.
‘‘People don’t think there is much to being a netballer, that you just play a few games, but there is a lot of pressure in being the captain and a lot of time spent training and travelling.’’
Spending time with her three other sporting siblings – the oldest, JanMarie, her brother, Rhys, who played for the Crusaders before going to Scotland, and youngest sister Lynaire who gave up representing Waikato in netball to play rugby sevens – also helped.
Williams said they don’t see her as the captain of the Silver Ferns. In fact, they often give her a hard time.
Williams said Rhys had told his sister the Ferns wouldn’t win the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2006. Kopua responded that if she won he had to give her a two-armed hug.
‘‘When she came back she said ‘Tell Rhys I’m coming for my cuddle’.’’
Athletes and their families don’t get access to tickets for major events like the Olympics or Commonwealth Games – they have to enter a ballot like anyone else and there’s no guarantee the tickets they do get are for their chosen sport.
That’s why ANZ started their Support the Supporters campaign and gave away more than 1000 tickets to athletes’ families.
STOKED SUPPORTER: Silver Fern Casey Kopua’s mum Joanne Williams with her tickets to the Commonwealth Games pool and final netball games.