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Photo by Gretchen Beardmore

Columba Netball Coaches receive well deserved Awards

Mrs G Beardmore —

It is a privilege for Columba College to have amazing netball coaches within our school community with a collective wealth of knowledge, experience, and coaching skill. Two of our coaches received special awards at the Dunedin Netball Centre AGM this week, and Columba College is extremely fortunate to have these fabulous coaches volunteering their time and energy to our netball programme.

Lauren and Jodi were presented with two Dunedin Netball Centre awards last night at the AGM, and we are incredibly proud of their achievements. The Sports Department would like to thank Jodi and Lauren for their valued contribution to netball at Columba, and would especially like to share with our community their significant involvement over the years with netball in our region. 


Jodi has a long history of involvement with Dunedin Netball, Otago Netball, and Netball South. Silver Fern number 130, Jodi played for the Rebels, Otago, and the Steel from 2007 to 2014. She received a Certificate of Recognition in 2013. She was on the Dunedin Netball Board from 2010 to 2013. In 2018 she coached St Hilda’s Senior A and Dunedin Netball U17A at national tournaments and received the Contribution to Rep Netball Trophy in both 2018 and 2021. In 2019 she coached St Hilda’s Senior A and Dunedin Netball U17A again and was awarded the Margaret Bruss Award for Outstanding Leadership. The last two seasons have seen Jodi coaching Dunedin U18s and Year 8 Development, U14 reps as well as Fairfield and Columba. Jodi’s contribution is significant and it is with great appreciation and congratulations we present her with a Dunedin Netball Service Award. 

Columba College would also like to highlight Jodi's coaching excellence in taking our Year 9A Netball team to the SISS Junior champs in 2022, winning this tournament, and acclaiming the title of South Island Champs! Congratulations Jodi.


2003 was when our region gained a very valuable resource in Lauren Piebenga. Lauren took up a position at Columba College that year and wasted no time at all getting into her netball training, starting with an NNZ Level 1 Coaching qualification. Lauren has been involved in school, club, and representative coaching at Dunedin Netball, Otago Netball, and Netball South for 20 years. She coached Southern B in 2007 and 2009, taking on College A in 2011 and every year since. She has also coached a school team every year at the same time, last year coaching College A and Columba A both in Premier A grade. She has coached Columba Senior A since 2003, having a short coaching hiatus for 5 years while her children were young. Lauren has coached representative teams since 2004 when she coached Dunedin U14. Since then she has coached Otago U19B, NPC B, U21, NPC, U19, apprentice coach Otago NPC, Dunedin NPC, and Netball South U23, as well as Beko National League, winning 5 national titles and 2 runner-up titles. Lauren, we are so grateful for your continued contribution to netball in our region and it is with great pleasure we award you a Dunedin Netball Prestige Service Award.

On behalf of the Columba College community, our netball students, and the wider sporting community in general, thank you Lauren and Jodi for all you do for our rangatahi!