T-Bags hit the court in tribute to late Tania Dalton
Get ready for T-Bags and goosesteps on the netball court at the World Masters Games.
The T-Bags are named as such in tribute to their friend, the late Tania Dalton.
Dalton, who played 12 tests and was a member of New Zealand's 2003 world championship-winning side, had been set to take part in the World Masters Games in a team featuring a number of fellow former internationals.
She died on March 1, six days after collapsing during a game of social touch rugby from a brain aneurysm.
The team decided the event was a perfect opportunity to play in memory of their former team-mate and friend, choosing one of her nicknames, "T-Bag", for the team.
Former Silver Ferns midcourter Anna Stanley, Dalton's replacement in the team, told TVNZ she had no hesitation's in agreeing to fill her friend's place in the side.
"With our great mate Tans passing away, there was a spot there and it was an easy decision to play, change our name to The T-Bags and really play in memory of our mate," Stanley said.
"It's going to be a sad week because she won't be with us but we'll have a lot of laughs, because that is what Tania was all about
"I'm sure we'll be wanting to bust out a few Tania Dalton goosesteps on the baseline, which was what she was famous for."
Longtime friend and another former Silver Ferns team-mate, Leonie Leaver, said it was still strange without Dalton around.
"It still doesn't seem right that we are playing and she is not here," Leaver told TVNZ.
Along with paying tribute to their friend, the team will also be raising more funds for the charitable foundation Dalton's husband Duane set up in his wife's name.
Duane Dalton said the foundation had been set-up to assist challenged women and its funds would be available to women of all sporting codes.
"Ultimately [it's] so they can go on and be the best version of who they are," he told the Weekend Herald.
"It's [for] people that still have a chance to make a real difference and kick on in their lives and then grow and support and assist others.
"For us the word 'challenged' was deliberate because it doesn't necessarily mean financially disadvantaged - it may be through the loss of a parent or a brother or sister, it could be through a poor upbringing."
Around 25,000 athletes from more than 100 countries will be in action at the Games, the world's largest multisport event, in Auckland during the next 10 days.