Irene van Dyk played despite mother's death

00:47, Jul 17 2012
Magic vs Mystics
Temepara George feeds a ball into the circle during her last game for the Mystics in Auckland.
Magic vs Mystics
Magic players celebrate after dominating in extra time to win the game.
Magic vs Mystics
Charlotte Kight competes with Julianna Naoupu during the ANZ Netball Championship preliminary final.
Magic vs Mystics
Khao Watts at full stretch outjumps Jade Clark during the ANZ Netball Championship preliminary final.
Magic vs Mystics
Laura Langman looks for a way past Anna Harrison at Trusts Stadium in Henderson.
Magic vs Mystics
The Mystics bench just before the final whistle in extra time.

Few would have realised that last night's ANZ Netball Championship match was the toughest of star shooter Irene van Dyk's life after her mother died just hours before.

Van Dyk received a call from her husband Christie early yesterday to say that her mother, also Irene, had died at home in South Africa following a long battle with cancer.

"It was possibly the toughest day of my life," van Dyk said this morning.

MIXED EMOTIONS: : Last night’s win the ANZ Netball preliminary final was bitter-sweet for Irene van Dyk after her mother passed away yesterday morning.
MIXED EMOTIONS: : Last night’s win the ANZ Netball preliminary final was bitter-sweet for Irene van Dyk after her mother passed away yesterday morning.

"I was just really comforted to know that Mum had passed away in her sleep and that she is now free from pain.

"I knew Mum would have wanted me to carry on with last night's game - she has always been a huge supporter of my netball and I wanted to win last night’s game for her."

Team-mates rallied around van Dyk, who slotted the crucial goal in last night's hard fought match to draw the game 44-all and force the match into extra time. The Magic won the game 57-48 setting up an exciting final against the Vixens in Melbourne this Sunday, when van Dyk will once again take the court before flying out to South Africa on Monday morning.

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Irene Van Dyk
BRAVE DISPLAY: Shooter Irene Van Dyk was consoled by team-mates and Magic management after their netball win over the Mystics.

"I have to see this through and the family back home are also very supportive," van Dyk said.

Her mother will be buried in her hometown of Meyerton at the end of next week.

Waikato Bay of Plenty chief executive Sheryl Dawson paid tribute to the composure shown by the 40-year-old goal shoot in last night's game.

"Irene, as always, was a consummate professional who put her team before all else despite her immense sadness having lost her Mum," Dawson said.

"We are so fortunate to be blessed with such a strong and amazing player and we will be doing everything we can to support Irene in the coming days."

Waikato Times