Stadium renamed in Broughton’s honour

The fortress where the Southland netball dynasty began will pay tribute to its leader.

Invercargill’s Stadium Southland will be temporarily renamed Robyn Broughton Stadium when the Silver Ferns face the Australian Diamonds in the third test of the Constellation Cup tomorrow night.

The decorated coach, who led the Southern Sting to seven titles before coaching the Southern Steel and later the Central Pulse, died last month.

Former Silver Ferns and Southland stalwarts Wendy Frew and Donna Wilkins are delighted Broughton will be recognised.

Frew, who was taught by Broughton at Verdon College, said it was a lovely tribute to the coach who paved the way in the South.

"She’s been such a fantastic person down in this Southland region for so long and it’s pretty exciting that Netball New Zealand are honouring her by naming the stadium after her," Frew said.

"It’s really humbling for the Broughton family and something I think that Robbie really deserved."

Frew knew how symbolic renaming the stadium was — it was temporarily renamed after her when she retired in 2018.

"Public recognition certainly wasn’t a big motivator for Rob but I’m sure this would bring a smile."

Wilkins said it was fitting Broughton, a life member of Netball Southland and Netball New Zealand, would be remembered during a test.

Former Silver Ferns and Southern Sting netballers Donna Wilkins (left) and Wendy Frew hold the...
Former Silver Ferns and Southern Sting netballers Donna Wilkins (left) and Wendy Frew hold the trophies they won under their beloved coach, Robyn Broughton, who died last month. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
People walking through the doors tomorrow night could look up, see her name and remember her legacy, she said.

"It’s pretty neat isn’t it," Wilkins said.

"Whether it was through her teaching, coaching the Verdon netball team, or the Sting ... people can think about what she did, really, for the province."

It was a touching gesture and Wilkins wanted to see something more permanent in the future.

"I don’t know how that would look, or how they’d be able to do that.

"Not necessarily the renaming of the stadium, but it would be nice to see something about Robbie that’s there for life, because at the end of the day, she’s the reason why we got the stadium in Southland. A huge part of it was that success with the Southern Sting."

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie called Broughton "undoubtedly an icon of our sport".

She said it was fitting to pay tribute to her on her home court.

The Silver Ferns will be looking to bounce back after losing the opening two games of the series in Australia.