Centre manager Chelsea Routhan to depart Nelson Netball at end of season
Watching the Silver Ferns play at the Trafalgar Centre will be the perfect way for Chelsea Routhan to bow out from Nelson Netball.
After three seasons as the organisation's centre manager Routhan is moving on to become the programme director at Big Brothers Big Sisters, her last week coincidentally falling when the New Zealand national team will play in Nelson for the first ever time.
"I could have started earlier at Big Brothers Big Sisters but I really wanted to see that event happen and bring it to Nelson. It's going to be a fantastic way to end the season and to end my time at Nelson Netball," Routhan said.
"You don't realise how many people are fans of netball in Nelson or who have been involved in the past and still really enjoy watching the sport so it's neat to bring this to them. It really raises the profile and if you're a young netballer and you get to go watch the Silver Ferns in person it would be really inspirational for them and I think it can only do good things for the sport in the region."
Along with bringing the Silver Ferns to the region for the historic international against Jamaica on September 11, Routhan said a 25 per cent increase in team participation was another highlight during her tenure.
She said it was a "hard decision" to walk away from the organisation, enjoying every minute of working with "passionate volunteers" in her favourite sport.
"I felt I wasn't ready to leave just yet but you have to close one door to open another. I thought about it a lot but part of it was the balance with my family after having a whole winter concentrated on work with netball," she said.
"The more I read about it the more I learned about the organisation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it's something I just really wanted to be a part of. I love the idea of being able to make a difference in the local Nelson community."
In a statement to the netball community, board chair Julie Baxendine praised Routhan for lifting the profile and performance of the sport throughout her time in the role.
"No one could question Chelsea's passion, drive and hard work and these are the hallmarks of her style and delivery," Baxendine said.
"Nelson Netball is in great heart and Chelsea's passion to ensure quality experiences for everyone involved in Nelson Netball has been clear for us all to see."