Tiffen not one-eyed to opportunity
PE teacher Haidee Tiffen has a new challenge facing her this summer.
The Te Atatu resident has been appointed coach of the Auckland Hearts women's cricket team.
The winter training squad are already preparing for the 2012/2013 Action Cricket Cup and Twenty20 competitions kicking off in December.
Tiffen is originally from Timaru and played cricket for the Canterbury Magicians and the New Zealand White Ferns national side for 12 years before retiring in 2009.
She also captained the White Ferns from 2007 to 2009.
The 32-year-old Kelston Girls High School teacher pulled up stumps in Christchurch and moved to Auckland after the earthquake in February last year.
She was at an outdoor swimming pool with 30 Hillmorton High School students when the quake struck.
"It was chaos. The students were diving into the pool and I was literally thrown off my feet. It took me well over two hours to get home in a trip that usually takes 15 minutes. I had to eventually ditch my car and run home."
Tiffen's house was condemned in the red zone, forcing her to move.
She chose Te Atatu as her new home and landed a job as the head of the physical education and health department at Kelston Girls last year.
"I love it here in West Auckland and the students at Kelston are genuine and good fun," Tiffen says.
Kelston Girls picked up the Best Youth Cricket Initiative award this year from New Zealand cricket.
"Out of a terrible tragedy has come a lot of wonderful opportunities," Tiffen says.
Joining her at Auckland Cricket is Hearts assistant coach Dean Flyger, in his second year in the role.
Flyger, 44, remembers Tiffen playing for Timaru Girls High School against his side that year.
"They beat us and she was a real standout player," Flyger says.
"This is the first time we'll be working together and it will be a very positive experience."
The Hearts squad also features Waitakere Cricket Club's Samantha Curtis and Regina Lili'i.
The Auckland women's side had a bumper season last year and were crowned Action Cricket Cup champions and runners-up in the Action Twenty20 competition to Tiffen's old club Canterbury.
"I can't wait for the season to start, especially when we play Canterbury," Tiffen says.
"I'm on the other side now and have a few trade secrets to share with my new club."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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