Southlanders out in force to pay tribute to team

Southern Steel captain Wendy Frew is welcomed home to Invercargill by daughter Indie and Indie's...
Southern Steel captain Wendy Frew is welcomed home to Invercargill by daughter Indie and Indie's daycare friends at the Invercargill Airport yesterday. PHOTO: SHARON REECE
Southern Steel team members were given a full Southland welcome on their return to Invercargill yesterday.

Hundreds of Steel fans packed the Invercargill Airport to welcome the players who claimed the ANZ Premiership for the second year running after beating the Central Pulse in Palmerston North on Sunday.

Seven days earlier, the Southland Sharks were welcomed back to the Invercargill Airport after winning the National Basketball League.

While the Steel team was split, with some players returning to Dunedin, the Southland-based players, including captain Wendy Frew, took the trophy home with them to Invercargill.

Frew said such a greeting meant ``the world'' to the team, and being welcomed by her own daughter, Indie, and son, Archie, was the highlight.

``We didn't know who would be here today but it's just so exciting to see so many people here

``[I had] Archie's classmates and Indie's daycare here too, so definitely a highlight. It's unreal,'' she said.

``Otago and Southland, everyone's just been so loyal to us and it's just been fantastic to have so many people get on the bus and support us. Just so proud to be a Southlander.''

Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt, who joined fans to welcome the team, said the win was a confidence boost for the province.

``What they have done is lift the confidence of the whole province as well as Invercargill, and it's confidence that is so much part of business and so much part of positive development,'' he said.

Shadbolt has confirmed there has been talks about organising a street parade in Invercargill this week to honour the victories of both the Steel and Sharks.


Add a Comment