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Silver Ferns honour departing physio

Sharon Kearney keeps a watchful eye over a Casey Kopua gym session.
For over a decade lead physiotherapist Sharon Kearney has kept a watchful eye over the Silver Ferns, ensuring they can perform at their optimum every time they step on court.

It’s a challenging role – something acknowledged by the players in their tributes – but one that Sharon has found very rewarding.

Five Netball World Cups and two Commonwealth Games are some of the highlights of her tenure with the Silver Ferns that spans 155 Test Matches. 

“I consider myself the luckiest female physio that’s ever walked this earth,” Kearney said.

“At the time I started, it was the beginning of physiotherapy in female sport and the beginning of physios in Netball.

“There is so much about right place right time, so right place right time was meeting Georgina Salter in Dunedin in 1992. I went to the World Youth Cup that year where we won gold against Australia, so I started on a pretty exciting moment.

“I love it; I love the game and I’ll be sitting there watching [every game] excitedly.”

Tributes from the players have flowed since Sharon announced she would be handing over the scissors and strapping tape to someone new. Here is what some of them had to say:

Laura Langman

“Everyone always asks me what my secret is to consecutive Test Matches and it definitely is you.”

Casey Kopua

“Words can’t describe how much time and effort you have put in. Your general knowledge and skill of what you do is outstanding and no one will ever be able to replace you.”

Shannon Francois

I just can’t quite imagine the Silver Ferns without you; you’ve been that rock and that person who has always been there.

Maria Tutaia

“I wish you well; I thank you for all that you have done for me. You have definitely helped me to be the player that I am today and I will forever be grateful.”

Sharon’s involvement with Netball will continue in 2016, working with the Mainland Tactix as their physio, as well as, Netball New Zealand in the injury prevention space (NetballSmart).