A NETBALL New Zealand service award was recently bestowed on Teresa Irwin, of Winton.
The Central Netball Centre nominated Irwin for the award after more than 60 years of involvement in the game as a player, coach, umpire and administrator.
Netball South chief executive Lana Winders said: “Teresa is not afraid to think outside the square and effectively calls on years of diplomacy when going against the tide if that is what is best for netball.
‘‘Teresa possesses netball wisdom that in one person is only becoming rarer in this modern day and age.”
In her youth, Irwin (nee Murphy) was affiliated as a netball player to St Thomas’, Browns and the United clubs which all played under the umbrella of the Central Netball Centre in Winton.
Irwin was an accurate shooting goal attack and was a representative Central player for 14 years between 1958 and 1976.
During this period, Irwin also had a couple years in Canterbury training to be a dental nurse. She had three stints as a Southland Country representative 1963–1964 and then
again in 1969 and was captain in 1970.
After a brief spell Irwin was back in the Country team in the 1975 and 1976 seasons.
After retiring as a player she became the Central and Southland Country coach and selector.
Around this time Irwin married Lindsay Irwin, a farmer in Browns, and had children Gareth, Hayden and Jeremy.
As a club coach Irwin led the Browns United club team from 1992 through to 2000. This team won the Southland League in 2000.
Irwin also had success as the Central Southland College coach from 1994 to 2006. During this period the team was placed in the top 10 of the South Island schools tournaments on nine occasions. In 1996 the CSC team finished equal seventh at the National Schools Cup
After those successes Irwin was chosen as a co-coach of the Southland senior team in 2001 and 2002.
In 2003 she was in charge of the Southland Under-19 team, then had a couple of long stints as the Winton senior coach between 2004 and 2020 Irwin has been involved in administration at the Central Netball Centre since 1974. She served as president in 1998 and was made patron in 2008 and still enjoys this role.
She was also made a Netball Southland life member in 2003 and was a board member from 2004–2012.
The New Zealand netball service award was presented via Zoom last week, which suited Irwin fine as she is recovering at her home in Winton from back surgery.