Queen's Birthday Honours: Former Silver Fern stars honoured for service

By Julie Ash

By JULIE ASH

Former Silver Ferns Julie Seymour and Linda Vagana have been recognised for their services to netball and made members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

North Harbour's Vagana played 61 tests for New Zealand between 1993 and 2002.

The defender made her debut against the Cook Islands in 1993. She missed selection in 1994 and 1995 but was a team regular in the later years.

Vagana is in Samoa where she is the captain of the Samoan side who are preparing for a test against England on Wednesday in the buildup to the world championships in Jamaica in July.

Christchurch's Seymour played 75 tests for New Zealand between 1994 and 2002.

The midcourt player captained the team last year but withdrew in October because she was pregnant with her second child, Hannah, who was born in late April.

Seymour said she was humbled to have received the letter last week informing her of her inclusion into the Order of Merit.

"I was surprised," Seymour said. "I sort of thought shouldn't they be giving these awards to people who cure cancer and things?

"But it is nice. Being in the Silver Ferns you are in the spotlight and it is nice to be rewarded for that but I am aware that there are a number of people behind the scenes who have contributed to my netball and who are not always recognised."

Seymour said she was unsure what her netball future holds.

"I haven't retired," she said. "I have just started running again but I am just going to see how things pan out. I am not sure what level, if any, I am going to return to."

Herald Feature: Honoured New Zealanders

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