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Netball National Coach Ruth Aitken to Step Down After 2016 Season

Ruth Aitken accepts Performance Manager position at Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in New Zealand

Netball Singapore announced today that Technical Director and Head Coach Ruth Aitken will be stepping down at the end of 2016.

Aitken will be joining the Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in New Zealand as their Performance Manager. In her new role, she will be overseeing the elite coaching programme as well as the development of the players, coaches and umpires in Waikato region.

Aitken cited her family as the key factor in her return to New Zealand.

She said, “I have absolutely loved my three years with Netball Singapore and the national team, but the time has come for me to return home to my family commitments in New Zealand. I leave with many fantastic memories and friendships and am delighted that Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty would like to work towards building a close connection with Netball Singapore in the future. I look forward to being able to liaise between the two organisations for the benefit of both. “

During her stint with Netball Singapore, Aitken has guided Singapore to gold medal success at the 2014 Asian Netball Championships and the 2015 SEA Games. The netball team has also won the Team of the Year (Team Sport) award at the Singapore Sports Awards for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015.

Aitken will be most remembered for her ability to identify talented players and she has widened the pool of national players significantly over the past 3 years.

Under her guidance, the national team has also built up on their strength and conditioning programme so that the team are more competitive internationally. Aitken has brought Singapore up from 21st to 17th in the world rankings.

Netball Singapore’s President, Jessica Tan, thanked Aitken for her contributions, “Ruth has played an instrumental role in shaping the success of the national team and in widening the pool of developmental players. She is an approachable and dedicated coach and she has instilled belief in the team that they can win. It will be hard to replace someone of such calibre but we wish her the very best in her new role. Our next immediate step will be to search for a world-class coach who can take the team to the next level and to prepare for the SEA Games in 2017.”