Silver Ferns awarded top honour at Olympic gala dinner for World Cup triumph

The Silver Ferns have been recognised for their Netball World Cup triumph by being awarded the prestigious Lonsdale Cup at last night's Olympic gala dinner in Auckland.

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New Zealand pipped Australia by one point in the final in Liverpool. Source: 1 NEWS | Sky

The Lonsdale Cup is the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s most prestigious award and is presented annually to the athlete or team that has made the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth Sport.

NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith said the team are deserved winners this year.

“The Netball World Cup win united the nation and inspired athletes around the country," Smith said.

"The team is generous and community focused, and are fantastic role models for girls and young women. I congratulate them and thank them for their contribution."

The Silver Ferns won the World Cup after beating Australia 52-51 in Liverpool, England in July.

Coach Noeline Taurua said last night's acknowledgement added to their historic win.

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Karin Burger, Shannon Saunders and Jane Watson all agreed they play the game for pride and passion - not prizes. Source: 1 NEWS

"This is such a privilege and honour and we are very humbled," Taurua said.

“I would also like to acknowledge the wider netball community who contributed to the Ferns success at the Netball World Cup."

Captain Laura Langman added it was an amazing way to wrap up 2019.

“It’s been a massive year of Netball and it’s been 16 years since we last won a Netball World Cup, so to receive such a prestigious award as the Lonsdale Cup is a special moment for New Zealand Netball.”

The Lonsdale Cup was first awarded in 1961, with Sir Murray Halberg the inaugural recipient.

Since then it has been won by a host of athletes who have represented New Zealand on the world stage, including Dame Valerie Adams, Lisa Carrington, Sir John Walker, Barbara Kendall, and Sir Peter Snell.