Courtney Tairi

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Courtney Tairi is a former international netball player who’s represented the New Zealand Silver Ferns, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Southern Steel, Northern Stars and the New South Wales Swifts under-21 level. After hanging up her bib in 2017, her broadcasting, presenting and commentating career flourished.

It was a surprisingly natural progression from mid-court player to a side-court reporter for the Australian-born Kiwi, whose journey to the Silver Ferns was unique. Courtney and her two sisters were raised in Sydney by a pakeha mother and father of Tainui, Ngāti Korokī Kahukura descent, so immersed in her Māori heritage that she has always referred to herself as a Kiwi.

Courtney took to the netball court at the tender age of seven, where she demonstrated an innate ability for the sport, playing competitively throughout her school years. Julie Fitzgerald first spotted her at 14 years old. Courtney went through the Australian Netball pathways, and after winning the Netball World Youth Cup in 2009, Fitzgerald selected Courtney to play with the New South Wales Swifts at age 21.

Her instinctive talent saw her lured to the land of her whakapapa by Southern Steel; she went on to cement her career playing for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Northern Stars, being selected for the Silver Ferns in 2013 aged 25.

Courtney represented NZ in the 2013 Constellation Cup against Australia. Her debut for the Silver Ferns was in her mother's hometown of Invercargill, where Courtney had made her ANZ Championship debut for the NSW Swifts three years earlier. But a series of surgeries to rectify injuries left her in ongoing pain. At this time, the opportunity with SKY TV came up; and she decided it was the moment to hang up her bib.

She names one of the highlights of her broadcasting career as interviewing Serena Williams at the ASB Classic tennis in 2020, and her stint interviewing at the Youth Olympics inspired her commitment to encouraging young athletes to follow their sporting dreams.

Loyal, hardworking and passionate, Courtney believes it's important to remember where she came from and who supported her journey. She travels to Australia as often as possible to spend time with family; she is happiest with whānau having BBQs or beach days together. On the rest of her downtime, you’ll find Courtney at the gym, in a pilates class or feeling her foodie vibes at cafes!.

As the saying goes, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” which sums up former Silver Fern Courtney Tairi’s career path to date.

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