Silver Ferns legend Yvonne Willering awarded New Zealand Netball life membership

Having served the game of netball for decades, iconic Silver Ferns player and coach Yvonne Willering has been awarded a life membership by Netball New Zealand.

Having arrived in New Zealand from the Netherlands as a child, Willering made her first appearance for the Auckland under-21 side at the age of 15 before going on to represent the Silver Ferns for 10 years.

After her playing career, Willering continued her legacy as a coach, firstly with Auckland - with whom she forged a 10-year national title winning streak before becoming the seventh coach of the Silver Ferns in 1997.

Willering coached New Zealand in 51 Tests, winning 39 for a 76 per cent success rate, including winning a silver medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

She has also worked as an administrator for the game in New Zealand, and becomes the 33rd life member, joining the likes of Dame Lois Muir, Taini Jamison and Kereyn Smith.

Former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering
Former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering Source: Photosport

Cute baby of returning Silver Fern steals the show on Breakfast as doting mum says she has 'so much more fire' in her belly

Ameliaranne Ekenasio says she has more "fire in my belly" after giving birth to her son which she believes has made her work harder ahead of the Commonwealth Games. 

Ekenasio, who last played for New Zealand in 2016 before going on maternity leave, was announced in the squad yesterday, alongside Michaela Sokolich-Beatson as goal defense.

Elsewhere, the 12-strong squad remains unchanged from that which relinquished the Quad Series in abysmal fashion last month, with Whitney Souness, Maia Wilson, Jane Watson and and Phoenix Karaka going unselected.

Watch FULL LIVE COVERAGE of the 21st Commonwealth Games free-to-air on TVNZ from April 4, 2018.

Since netball first made its appearance in the Commonwealth Games in 1998, the Silver Ferns have reached every gold medal match. Twice they have taken gold and three times they have claimed silver at the hands of Australia.

Speaking about the squad selection, Ekenasio told TVNZ 1's Breakfast she was feeling a whole range of different emotions following the announcement.

"Feeling just over the moon. Kind of feels a bit of a dream, feels really really surreal, I just can't believe it," Ekenasio said. 

"It definitely won't be a breeze but I think I am able to take so much more in my stride now."

She explained how her son, Ocean, has taught her how much she can fit into a day.

"I think it will actually work really well because it's just made me work so much harder and just put so much more fire in my belly."

Captain Katrina Grant joined Ekenasio in the studio and stated the team has been asked a variety of questions following their unsuccessful quad series. 

"We have been asked a lot of questions as in 'can you even make the final?' 'do you really think you can win gold?' and there's no way we would even be thinking of going over there if we didn't think we could win gold. It's 100 per cent our aim our goal and that's all we want," a determined Grant said. 

Ocean's mum Ameliaranne Ekenasio was announced yesterday as part of the Commonwealth Games team. Source: Breakfast


'Never saw myself playing four Commonwealth Games' – evergreen Maria Folau buzzing after Gold Coast selection

Silver Ferns veteran Maria Folau as excited is as ever to don the black dress on the Gold Coast in April, earning selection for her fourth Commonwealth Games.

Folau, 30, will spearhead the Ferns' attack, looking to add to her gold medals won at the 2006 and 2010 games respectively. Folau also won a silver medal with the Ferns in the 2014 games.

Speaking to 1 NEWS today, the superstar couldn't hide her delight at getting to represent her country yet again.

"I am actually quite surprised that my body's lasted this long," Folau joked.

"I never, ever, ever saw myself playing four Commonwealth Games."

"It's always an honour and a privelege to represent New Zealand, especially at the Commonwealth Games - it'll be exciting."

Watch FULL LIVE COVERAGE of the 21st Commonwealth Games free-to-air on TVNZ from April 4, 2018.

The Silver Ferns ace has been named in the 12-strong side to compete on the Gold Coast. Source: 1 NEWS