Tayla Dalton says late mother Tania ‘biggest inspiration in my life’ as she pursues sporting success

You could say, sport runs in the Dalton family.

The late Tania Dalton had a netball career spanning over 10 years and played 12 Tests for the Silver Ferns.

It's almost a year and a half since her mum passed away from a brain aneurysm but now, daughter Tayla is making a name for herself.

She was a finalist for the Under 16 Sportswoman of the Year at the Northern Region Surf Life Saving Awards.

"It's just such an awesome sport that I’ve been surrounded by my whole life, my dad was a very well-known legend for it, but it's awesome to be surrounded by the water, surf just creates the coolest people," Tayla said at the awards.

Andrea McVeigh spoke on behalf of those who worked alongside Dalton in the commentary box. Source: Supplied

The 16-year-old is part of Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club on Auckland's North Shore, a club she describes as a privilege to be a part of.

"They've had our backs since day dot and as a family we're very fortunate to be surrounded by cool people."

Mairangi Bay is also home to Black Fin Danielle McKenzie.

McKenzie was the first New Zealand woman to win an open individual title at the 2018 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships and is someone Tayla looks up to at her club.

"She's almost like a big sister but then at the same time, completely a role model," Tayla said.

"I totally aspire to be like her and she's absolutely killing it over in Australia."

But it doesn't stop at surf life saving for Tayla.

She's just been in Belarus representing New Zealand in the Under 17 Basketball World Cup, along with other sporting commitments.

She admits her schedule can get a bit hectic.

"I'm getting home at 10 most nights; I eat a lot of food. My poor family have to deal with me when I'm a bit tired."

Speaking of family, there's someone missing from her support crew but Tayla says she still feels her mum's presence every day.

The bubbly 45-year-old was fondly remembered as popular, feisty and just a little bit crazy. Source: 1 NEWS

"She'd love to be here having a few wines tonight but I know she'll be here with us.

"She's honestly the biggest inspiration in my life and I'm very lucky to have her watching over me each day."

Story by 1 NEWS Sport producer Maddy Lloyd

The 16-year-old has excelled in both basketball and surf life saving. Source: 1 NEWS


Noeline Taurua not mucking around shaping up Silver Ferns – ‘If they don’t take accountability they’ll suffer’

A distinct new energy and excitement permeated through the Silver Ferns’ training session today.

The intensity was obvious but it was helped thanks to the clear message coming down from new coach Noeline Taurua.

"If they don't take accountability then everyone's going to suffer."

Taurua is tasked with rebuilding the Silver Ferns' reputation after their woeful performance at the Commonwealth Games.

Just two trainings in, she's under no illusion the process will take time.

"I'm testing and assessing players in real time so my hope is to get everybody out on court over the Quad Series.

"That's the only way we're going to be able to see if people can handle at this level."

The silver Ferns will meet England on Saturday for the first time since their 54-45 loss in pool play on the Gold Coast in April.

The new Silver Ferns coach is demanding hard work ahead of their match with England. Source: 1 NEWS

New Silver Ferns captain to be 'elected' by players

New Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has raised eyebrows by conducting a player vote to determine the team's captain.

Days out from the first round of Quad Series Tests in Auckland, Taurua will employ a collective approach to finding New Zealand's netball skipper.

Players will be asked to vote on a 3-2-1 basis for their preferred candidate.

Taurua and chief executive Jennie Wyllie will also cast a vote.

The captain will be unveiled on Thursday.

The Ferns face England in this weekend's Quad Series opener. Source: 1 NEWS

"So, as they say, the people will speak as to who they want in those leadership roles," Taurua said.

"That's what I want to encourage, that everybody has something to say.

"We don't want wallflowers and everybody needs to contribute towards the overall strategy and the performance out on court."

Coach of the Sunshine Coast Lightning, Super Netball's two-time champions, Taurua was appointed to New Zealand's top role last month.

The Ferns' new coach is putting her side to work in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

She replaced Janine Southby after a disappointing fourth placing at the Commonwealth Games.

Katrina Grant, who was captain at the Games, backed Taurua's democratic innovation.

"Whoever the team wants as captain is who it's going to be and I think that's a great way to do it and it's fair," she told journalists.

Leading candidates include Grant, along with returning veterans Laura Langman and Casey Kopua.

The opening Quad Series Tests on Saturday pits Australia against South Africa and New Zealand against England.

Noeline Taurua has raised eyebrows with her approach to leadership. Source: 1 NEWS


Noeline Taurua 'salivating' ahead of Silver Ferns coaching debut

New Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua was a presence at her side's training in Auckland this morning, preparing for her first match in charge against England on Saturday.

Confirmed as the new coach late last month, Taurua has been tasked with seeing the Ferns back to the top of world netball, with the side having plummeted to third in the world rankings over the past 10 months.

Speaking to media, Taurua said that she was looking forward to working with such an exciting group of players.

"One thing that I was salivating over yesterday was how amazing these players play," she began.

"How creative they are, beautiful flair they have, when they have ball in hand, they're absolutely lovely to watch."

However, Taurua also said that her team aren't just content with a nice playing style, working on developing a winning edge.

"When that landscape is not free, and we don't have that space, we have something up our sleeve - just to keep ball in hand."

Taurua and the Ferns will be in action against the England Roses on Saturday afternoon at Auckland's Spark Arena.

The Ferns face England in this weekend's Quad Series opener. Source: 1 NEWS

'I can't believe I'm back!' - Laura Langman beams over Silver Ferns return

Silver Ferns midcourter Laura Langman was buzzing to be back in the team environment in Auckland this morning, having feared her international career was over.

Langman, 32, appeared to have given up on her time with the Ferns, controversially leaving for Australia's Sunshine Coast Lightning in 2017, infringing Netball New Zealand's selection policy.

However, under new coach Noeline Taurua, Langman has been given an exemption to return to the side, relishing another chance in the black dress.

"It's really great," she began.

"There's been lots of moments where just walking into camp and being out on court, I can't believe I'm back.

"The group are really refreshed, we're hitting it with high tempo - it's exciting."

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Langman and the Ferns will be in action in their Quad Series opener against England on Saturday in Auckland.

The midcourt veteran will has returned to the Ferns' squad after time overseas. Source: 1 NEWS