Silver Ferns captain Ekenasio announces pregnancy

Ameliaranne Ekenasio during the recent Constellation Cup series for the Silver Ferns. Photo:...
Ameliaranne Ekenasio. Photo: Getty Images
The Silver Ferns will have to do without their captain later this year.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio has announced she is pregnant and will miss the international series later this year.

It also rules the shooter out of the Central Pulse’s ANZ Premiership campaign.

Ekenasio had been on a mental health break to begin the season and had just returned to training with the Pulse.

The 30-year-old debuted for the Silver Ferns in 2014 and took over as the team’s captain last year.

She was a key part of the side which won the 2019 World Cup, while also leading the team to its first Constellation Cup series win since 2012 late last year.

Ekenasio will remain involved with the team in an off-court capacity.

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua had been thrilled to hear the news, despite it meaning she would lose one of her best players.

"The ability for our elite female athletes to be mothers while still performing at the highest level is no mean feat,” she said.

“Massive congratulations to Ameliaranne, [husband] Damien and the whanau. I hope they enjoy this moment as we all look forward to meeting the newest member of our Silver Ferns family."

Taurua said it had been a pleasure to watch Ekenasio grow both as an athlete and captain since taking on the leadership role in 2020.

"I think we’ve all watched with a sense of pride with just how far she has come with her game on court and growing confidence as a Silver Fern.

"Now her focus will be on her young family and enjoying those special new moments, and we certainly wish her well."

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