Women's rugby pioneer Farah Palmer to become a lady

Women’s rugby pioneer Farah Palmer to become a lady

Farah Palmer is already a World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Black Fern trailblazer and university professor, and now she’s going to be a lady for her services to the sport.

Born in Te Kuiti in 1972 but raised in Piopio, Palmer played a variety of different sports growing up, but it wasn’t until she studied at the University of Otago that she started playing rugby regularly. .

Originally an accessory, she switched to hooker, kicking off her decade-long journey in the Black Ferns where she became captain, leading New Zealand to three World Cup titles.

Midway through her playing career, she earned a doctorate in 2000 before becoming a professor at Massey University the following year.

In 2007 Palmer was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Her academic prowess and rugby experience led her to become the first woman appointed to the New Zealand rugby board.

Despite her incredible career on and off the court, Palmer is reticent about her new title.

“It was a bit of a shock. I was like ‘why me?'” she said.

“All these kind of questions you ask yourself and I hesitated for a long time before accepting, but really humbled.”

The hesitation was so great that Palmer hid the letter from his family and has not opened it since.

“I didn’t make it past the first two lines,” she laughed.

“I quickly folded it up and glued it back into the envelope and put it somewhere I thought no one could find it. It’s sitting there. Gotta go back and have a good read of it.”

Palmer said that while she gets down to reading the rest of the letter and becoming a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, “it’s going to take a lot of getting used to.”

Dr. Farah Palmer raises

“It comes with a lot of responsibility and that’s what I had to think about when I agreed. It’s not just me I’m representing but a lot of women and Maori in rugby who have made amazing things.”

She said that as a teenager she “had this big vision to make a difference” but “didn’t really know what it looked like or what it meant”.

“But the people who mattered to me were Maori and women. I had a lot of strong women in my whānau and being Maori was important to me, that’s what I wanted to do.”

The 50-year-old says rugby provided the vehicle to make it happen.

“Playing rugby challenged the way people perceive women, how they should look, behave and be, so I really loved that in rugby,” she said.

“I took that further by trying to do coaching, trying to be in the media, trying player development and finding my place in governance.”

Current Kiwi sports heroes were also honored

Link to Hamish

Several high-achieving New Zealand sports representatives have been recognized in the New Year Honors List, including Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, who were made Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit for their services to rowing.

Bond and Murray won gold medals in the coxless duet at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, setting world and Olympic records at the London Olympics.

Between 2009 and 2016, Bond and Murray had an undefeated partnership with 69 consecutive wins in the men’s coxless pair. They have won seven consecutive World Rowing Championship titles in the coxless duet.

Bond was also a member of the eight-man gold medal winning team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

He is the only New Zealand man to win gold medals at three consecutive Olympics. Between 2016 and 2019 he competed in road cycling, winning bronze at the 2017 Oceania Championship in the time trial; gold medal in the same event in 2018; and a bronze medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Murray represented New Zealand in rowing at four Olympic Games between 2004 and 2016.

Meanwhile, Paul Coll was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his service to squash.

In 2022, he became the first New Zealand man to reach No. 1 in the Professional Squash Association World Rankings.

Coll became the first New Zealander to win Commonwealth Games gold in squash when he triumphed in Birmingham.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous received the same honor for their services to snow sports, and Nathan Fa’avae was also recognized for his services to adventure racing, outdoor education and the snow sports community. Peaceful.

Sadowski-Synnott told 1News she was “definitely surprised to receive” the honor.

“It’s a huge honor and I’m really thrilled,” she said.

“When I was growing up and started snowboarding I was so inspired by everyone who came before me in all aspects of the sport and just to be in that position now is crazy.

“But yeah, that’s kind of the reason I do it these days, it’s so people coming in have someone to look up to and know there’s a road to follow.”

Fa’avae is a seven-time world champion in adventure racing (mountain biking, kayaking and trekking) and was the pioneer of women’s adventure racing in New Zealand.

Former Silver Ferns head coach Leigh Gibbs has been named a Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to netball, with former New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive Kereyn Smith also recognized for his sports governance services.

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