Netball guru earns Wintec honour

It was significant that the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic took out netball's transtasman crown about the same time Waikato Institute of Technology was awarding an honorary Master of Science (Sport and Exercise Science) to longstanding netball devotee Monica Leggat.

In netball circles the name Monica Leggat is revered.

For more than 60 years Leggat has dedicated her life to netball - managing Waikato representative sides and the Silver Ferns, playing an instrumental role in bringing Hamilton's netball venue Minogue Park to life and being "the voice" of Minogue Park. She is currently Netball Waikato's patron.

The prestigious honour was presented to Leggat at a formal graduation ceremony and dinner attended by 100 invited guests, including members of the winning Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic netball team, previous Silver Ferns players and coaches, representatives from Netball New Zealand and Netball Waikato, Wintec honorary recipients, Wintec Council members and staff.

It wasn't just in the Waikato and Hamilton that Leggat's netball enthusiasm was felt.

As well as influencing New Zealand age group teams and the Silver Ferns, she helped guide the national team to World Games titles in 1985 and 1988 and the World Netball Championship title in 1987.

Originally from Nelson, a province she represented at netball, Leggat moved to the Waikato where she immersed herself in her two key passions - netball and education.

She started on the committee at Netball Waikato in 1973, soon taking on the role of president. She played a key role in the early 80s moving Hamilton's netball centre to its current home of Minogue Park. Nearly 40 years on Leggat is still involved with Netball Waikato as its patron.

Despite her commitments in netball administration, she also dedicated herself to education. She spent more than 30 years at Hamilton's Fairfield College in a variety of teaching and management roles.

In 1999 Leggat was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to netball and the community. In 2003 she received the Halberg Trust Service to Sport award and last year she was awarded the New Zealand Sport and Recreation Lifetime Achievement award.

- Hamilton News

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