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Netball Singapore announce new National Coach

Former Silver Ferns Coach takes up a new challenge

Jessica-Tan Ruth-AitkenNetball Singapore announced today that Ruth Aitken, former Silver Ferns Coach and current Coaching Director for Netball New Zealand, will take up the position of Technical Director and National Coach for Singapore from the beginning of August 2013.

Aitken comes with a multitude of experience and accolades both as a player and coach that span over a 30 year period.

As a national player for New Zealand she was part of the World Championship victorious team in Trinidad in 1979. She moved onto coaching and took up the role of the Silver Ferns Coach from 2002-2011. During this period the team collected a host of accolades including Gold at the 2003 World Championships, Gold at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games and Silver at the 2011 World Championships in Singapore.

She was the first Netball New Zealand Coach to win back to back Commonwealth Games titles and had a 78% winning ratio at international level (won 87 – lost 25). For her service to the sport Ruth Aitken was awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2011.

President of Netball Singapore, Jessica Tan hailed the announcement as fantastic news for the future of the sport. She said, “Today we are extremely privileged as an organisation to welcome Ruth Aitken into our team. We are all very excited about her taking on the role of National Coach next year and the potential we now have to learn from her wealth of experience.

“Netball in Singapore grown and developed markedly over the past few years and we feel that with Ruth at the helm of our national squads then this can continue for many years to come.”

Ruth-Aitken 090711-NZL-ENGRuth Aitken, who was in town for a short visit to catch the finals of the Nations Cup, said, “I am very excited about the opportunity to join Netball Singapore and continue coaching in the international arena. The Singapore national team has had recent success in the Asian Championships and I look forward to building on the great work of Coach Kate Carpenter and her support team."

Bob Gambardella, Chief of Sports Development at Singapore Sports Council said, “It’s a major coup for Netball Singapore to have secured the services of a world-renowned coach in Ruth Aitken. Her track record with the Silver Ferns speaks for itself and it demonstrates the ambition of Netball Singapore to take the sport to the next level. Singapore Netball has consistently delivered results on the international stage, most recently being crowned as Asian Champions for the second time in August. As hosts of the next edition of the Asian Championships in 2014, these are exciting times for Netball Singapore and we are delighted that they will have Ruth on board to lead this ambitious and talented team.”

The Singapore National team have had a busy 2012 which included a Tour to Fiji, the Nations Cup which concluded on Saturday in Singapore and of course their Asian Championships victory in August where they defeated Sri Lanka by one point to reclaim the Asian crown.

The momentum continues into 2013 with a focus on another edition of the Nations Cup and the Asian Championships on 2014 which will be hosted in Singapore. The Asian Championships will also act as a qualifier for the 2015 World Championships in Australia so there is a lot of stake. An inclusion in the 2015 South East Asian Games, also being hosted by Singapore, is also on the horizon and an important target for the team if this comes through. Aitken has a busy time ahead of her.

She added, “Netball in the Asian region is very competitive and the number of international events taking place here over the next few years shows the support and passion for the sport here. I am looking forward to working towards these marquee and we’ll be working hard to strive for a repeat of the success achieved this year.”

Ruth Aitken will replace current National Coach Kate Carpenter who is stepping down at the end of 2012 due to personal reasons.

Netball Singapore
10 December 2012

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