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First World Championship Win for NZ

The 1967 World Netball Tournament has gone down in history as one of New Zealand’s finest moments, beating Australia in the final match of the 13-day tournament 40-34.

One of the players in that 1967 team is Rotorua’s Mirth Solomon who remembers the tournament like it was yesterday.

Solomon says the key to winning was the leadership of coach Taini Jamison and the bond amongst the team.

“I think we expected a lot and put a lot of pressure on ourselves at that tournament in Perth before we went out on court. It was amazing how the individual strengths of each player drew every single one of us in and so we weren’t doing it for ourselves, but for each other as a team,” she recalled.

“Because we knew each so well there was a strong bond and I think that if you can build that bond of understanding and knowledge and acceptance of each other in a team, then you have a very good team. You’ve got to have good leadership, good guidance and you need a good coach and a good manager,” she said.

Apart from winning the tournament, one of the highlights of the tournament which brought the team to tears was an impromptu haka performed in the bleaches after the final.

“One of my greatest memories from the 1967 tournament was to see a well-known personality from Rotorua, Tommy Taurima, stand up and perform the haka.

“The number of New Zealanders who stood and joined in was unbelievable, and to think, there we were so many miles away from home and we had this wonderful support from one quarter of the crowd that was there and they stood and gave us the haka.

“That is an absolute privilege for anyone and it was a magical and wonderful moment.”

“That’s when I said to myself – it’s marvellous to be a kiwi!”