Netball Northern Zone are excited to announce the appointment of two experienced coaches to the roles of Head Coach and Assistant Coach for the Northern Marvels next season.  Ripeka Pirie has been appointed Head Coach with Melissa Bessell joining her as Assistant Coach.  

Ripeka was the championship winning Head Coach of the 2021 Northern Marvels team.   Her influence throughout the period between 2018 and 2021, supported the transition of players such as Carys Stythe, Filda Vui, Danielle Binks, Claire O’Brien, Jessie Taylor, and Holly Mather who have all played for the MG Mystics in the past two to three seasons.   Ripeka has strong interpersonal skills, leads a positive culture and has been developing her performance coaching craft in the Northern Zone Elite Performance Programme and the MG Mystics training environments since standing down from the role in 2021.  

My coaching revolves around the idea of having fun while fostering a performance-driven environment.  I thrive on connecting with people and creating a close-knit, whanau dynamic within the team. This on-court and off-court connection is at the heart of my coaching success” says Ripeka who is excited to be back in the Head Coach role.

Melissa is an experienced coach who has spent over a decade offshore coaching international teams and development squads.  She has expanded her coaching toolbox, leading, and inspiring high-performing athletes, developing players and identifying talent pathways for success. 

“It’s great to be back in Aotearoa and I am excited to be able to share my passion and craft gained through both practice and theory, having completed my Masters in Professional Sports Coaching (MSC).    My coaching philosophy is to cultivate self-efficacy, a belonging and empowerment of a growth mindset to be the best authentic self and team” says Melissa.

MG Mystics Head Coach Tia Winikerei says she is delighted to have two experienced coaches working with the next crop of Northern Zone’s talent.  “The connection, alignment and performance between the MG Mystics and Northern Marvels programmes is incredibly important to the success of both our programmes.  Together, Ripeka and Melissa offer a strong blend of these attributes and Rob and I are looking forward to working with them”. 

The Summer Training Squad Trial will take place on Tuesday 12 December, 6pm. 

Click here to register:


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