The New Zealand netball community is mourning the loss of Robyn Broughton, a highly accomplished figure in the sport, who passed away at the age of 80. Broughton was renowned for her exceptional coaching career, notably leading the Southern Sting to unprecedented success between 1998 and 2007.

Robyn Broughton

Robyn Broughton’s death cause explored

Netball NZ expressed its condolences and recognized Broughton as the most successful domestic coach in the country’s history. During her tenure, the Southern Sting secured an impressive seven titles in the National Bank Cup. Broughton’s contributions extended beyond her coaching role; she was a Netball New Life Member, served as a Silver Ferns assistant coach, and mentored many coaches within the Netball NZ High-Performance system. Her influence was instrumental in establishing Southland as a prominent hub for netball. Born in Lower Hutt, Robyn Broughton’s netball prowess was evident early in her career when she earned a spot as a non-traveling reserve for the New Zealand national team in 1960. She played for Hutt Valley, Otago, and Southland, captaining both Otago and Southland, as well as leading Otago University and New Zealand Universities.

However, her coaching career became the hallmark of her legacy. As the coach of the Southern Sting, she achieved an unprecedented seven national titles over a decade. Broughton oversaw 100 matches during her tenure, boasting an impressive 82 percent win record, significantly higher than any other coach during that period. When the trans-Tasman league was introduced in 2008, Broughton continued her successful coaching journey with the newly-formed Southern Steel until 2011, followed by a stint coaching the Central Pulse from 2012 to 2015.

During the National Bank Cup from 1998 to 2007, Robyn Broughton was at the helm of the Southern Sting, guiding them to the grand final every year and securing the championship seven times. This exceptional record not only placed Invercargill and Southland prominently on the sporting stage but also demonstrated Broughton’s remarkable leadership.

According to Bloxham, the success achieved during that period was particularly significant because the region lacked many sporting accomplishments at the time. Broughton’s innovative approach and her belief in the capabilities of her team members were instrumental in creating this enduring legacy. She served as the driving force behind these achievements and successfully rallied the community’s support. Broughton’s impact extended beyond the boundaries of the netball court. She held a position of great respect and influence, not only among netball enthusiasts but also within the broader community. Her contributions to both the sport and the community were highly valued, and she was deeply appreciated for her transformative role in advancing netball in the region and the overall community.

Robyn Broughton’s outstanding achievements also earned her international recognition. She served as an assistant coach for the Silver Ferns from 2000 to 2001 and guided the FastNet Ferns to a world series title in 2010, an introduction to the shorter form of the game. In recognition of her immense contributions to domestic netball, the ANZ Premiership Coach of the Year award was named in her honor, with recipients receiving the prestigious Robyn Broughton Trophy in 2021. Robyn Broughton’s legacy in New Zealand netball is indelible, and her memory will forever symbolize excellence and dedication in the sport. Her impact will continue to inspire generations of players and coaches.

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