New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - THIS WEEK IN... - Kelly Ber­trand

The De­laney sib­lings are at the top of their game

New Zealand has a few fam­i­lies from which many sport­ing greats have emerged – think the Crowes with cricket, the Bar­retts and the White­locks with rugby, and the Ken­dalls with sail­ing. Now it’s coach­ing’s turn. Brother and sis­ter duo Glenn De­laney (44) and Mar­i­anne De­laney-Hoshek (42) are proud born-and-bred Cantabri­ans who this year coached the

Mitre 10 Cup rugby cham­pi­ons Can­ter­bury and the Sil­ver­moon Tac­tix net­ball team. In fact, they were ap­pointed to their re­spec­tive po­si­tions at al­most the same time!

To have two sib­lings at the top of their coach­ing ca­reers in the same prov­ince is a point of im­mense pride for the en­tire De­laney fam­ily, but for the sib­lings, they’re just stoked to be liv­ing in the same coun­try.

“Glenn left New Zealand when he was 19 to play rugby in Ja­pan and he’s been out of the coun­try ever since,” says Mar­i­anne, who took on the head coach­ing role at the Sil­ver­moon Tac­tix mid­way through the last sea­son af­ter six years as as­sis­tant coach.

“To have him and his fam­ily back is amazing and, of course, Mum and Dad are re­ally, re­ally proud! We were on dif­fer­ent sides of the world for so long, so I don’t think they ever thought this would hap­pen!”

“It was a bit of a bizarre thing how it all hap­pened,” adds Glenn, who is off to the High­landers next year fol­low­ing his in­cred­i­ble suc­cess with Can­ter­bury in 2017.

“Co­in­ci­dence man­aged to pull ev­ery­thing to­gether, I guess. It’s great to have my little sis­ter as a sound­ing board. We’ll talk about stuff – the good and the bad.”

Un­sur­pris­ingly, sport has been at the cen­tre of Glenn and Mar­i­anne’s en­tire lives. The pair ini­tially trained as phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teach­ers be­fore their coach­ing ca­reers took off.

“We were very com­pet­i­tive, Glenn and I es­pe­cially,” re­calls Mar­i­anne with a chuckle.

“We’d play ev­ery­thing, the fam­ily games of cricket, ten­nis matches… There was def­i­nitely a ri­valry. Glenn’s re­ally tall, but for our whole lives, we’ve had this ban­ter about who’s the fastest run­ner. We’ve never ac­tu­ally tested it, but it’s to­tally me!”

“That’s in­ter­est­ing,”

Glenn re­sponds with a scep­ti­cal laugh. “She’s very com­pet­i­tive and so am I. At the end of the day, if she wants to claim she won ev­ery­thing, I’ll let her do that. Even if it’s prob­a­bly not true!”

With sport-ob­sessed par­ents, the De­laney kids were never with­out a bat or ball in hand grow­ing up. Mar­i­anne re­calls how Glenn prac­tised his cricket de­liv­er­ies with her on the fam­ily’s drive­way.

“He’d dress me up in all of his cricket pads – of course, this was when he’d just grown to 1.98m – and he’d do his fast bowls at me. I didn’t have much say in the mat­ter!”

“Look, grow­ing up with two sis­ters has chal­lenges in it­self,” laughs Glenn. “Not least when you’re try­ing to play com­pet­i­tive sport! But to be fair to her, she was al­ways brave enough and I’d bowl full pelt.”

The sib­lings are full of praise for the other and also for their older sis­ter Me­gan, a sports ad­min­is­tra­tor, who Glenn de­scribes as “the heart­beat of the fam­ily”.

Of course, with so much pro­fes­sional sport to sup­port, net­ball and rugby sea­son is a very busy time for the De­laney fam­ily. Both Glenn and Mar­i­anne try to at­tend the other’s fix­tures when­ever they are able to.

“I don’t pro­fess to be an ex­pert on net­ball, but I do en­joy watch­ing it,” tells Glenn. “Mar­i­anne is do­ing amazing things with the Sil­ver­moon Tac­tix – they had a mas­sive win the last game of their sea­son, and it was great to be there and see it all come to­gether. She’s an awesome per­son with a mas­sive heart.”

Mar­i­anne, on the other hand, ac­tu­ally played a sea­son of club rugby – “I just thought I’d give it a go!” she laughs – and loves head­ing to games.

And with Mar­i­anne tak­ing on her first head-coach­ing role this year with the Can­ter­bury team, as well as coach­ing the New Zealand A team, she’s al­ways very ap­pre­cia­tive of any pro­fes­sional ad­vice Glenn can give her.

“It’s def­i­nitely a step up,” she says. “But I felt re­ally ready. I’ll have a chat to Glenn about things and he’ll chat with me, and it’s great. We’re very lucky!”

Glenn has en­joyed great suc­cess as Can­ter­bury coach. Above: Mar­i­anne took over as head coach af­ter Sue Hawkins (right) stepped down. Right: Tac­tix in ac­tion.

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