If there is a finger on the pulse of Netball in Rotorua – it belongs to Mary Thompson.
Mary has been and remains a volunteer who has tirelessly given her time to ensure the smooth running of Netball, at all levels, in Rotorua. What started out as a playing career, including representative duties for Waikato, was followed by roles as an umpire (up to Zone and Regional level), and as a team manager in the former Coca Cola Cup.
But it seems that Mary truly found her niche in administration having taken up positions on the Netball Rotorua Executive in 1979 and still loyally carrying out those duties.
She also remains Secretary for Netball Rotorua and convenor of the popular Kuruangaituku Tournament which, during her time involved with the event, has seen team numbers sore to over 350 each year.
A highlight of her involvement with the game was over-seeing the shift in netball in Rotorua from Kuirau Park to the Westbrooke complex.
Mary has also been heavily involved in bringing elite netball to her region acting as the event coordinator for all of the Waikato BOP Magic games which are brought to Rotorua, as well as playing a role in any Silver Ferns games which are held at the Energy Events Centre.
She has numerous Centre and Regional awards to her name which highlight the ongoing contribution that Mary gives to Netball.
Behind the scenes is where she gives the most with the leadership of the day-to-day running of Netball in Rotorua her responsibility for 40 years – catering for approximately 3000 players each week.
Mary continues to put her hand up to assist with Junior and Representative Tournaments, and ensures that the Rotorua Netball Centre receives funding for their representative teams.
She was recognised in 2003 for her work within the game becoming a worthy recipient of the Netball New Zealand Service Award.
Awards for Service to Netball
1980 - present Started Saturday Netball at Rotorua Netball Centre
1987 - Rotorua Netball Centre Service to Sport
2011 - Rotorua Netball Centre Life Membership
2001 - Netball Bay of Plenty Service Award
2008 - Sport Bay of Plenty Service to Sport Award
2008 - Netball BOP Life Membership Award
2012 - Rotorua District Council community Leadership Award for service to sport
2019 - WBOP Service Award
2003 - Netball New Zealand Service Award
2004 - CHRISCO Administrator of the Year
2009 - Netball New Zealand Volunteer of the Year Award