Police probe threats against netball coach Norma Plummer

By Dana Johannsen

Norma Plummer has stirred passions in the netball world. Photo / Getty Images
Norma Plummer has stirred passions in the netball world. Photo / Getty Images

Dunedin police have been called in to investigate threats made against netball coach Norma Plummer.

The threats were made last year by a New Zealand fan and were serious enough for the Australian Federal Police to contact local authorities in advance of Plummer travelling to the city with her West Coast Fever side for the weekend's transtasman league game against the Southern Steel. The Fever said last night that the threats were made via a posting on Plummer's personal website. The Herald understands Plummer was so shaken up by the sinister tone that the team beefed up security during their stay down south. The team and support staff left the stadium swiftly after their one-goal loss to the Steel on Saturday, missing a post-match function.

Police Southern District confirmed information had been received from the Australian authorities but would not comment on the investigation.

Plummer did not wish to comment on the incident and a spokeswoman for the franchise said the veteran coach "just wants to do her job".

The Fever team are now in Tauranga as they prepare for Sunday's round five match against the unbeaten Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic.

Steel chief executive Sue Clarke said the franchise was not made aware of the Fever camp's concerns in the lead-up to the weekend's game.

"We would be very disappointed to learn of any visiting coach or team being treated in a negative way," she said.

Known for her outspoken style, Plummer has often courted controversy over her coaching career. She got off to a rocky start with New Zealand fans when, after taking on the Australian coaching job, she famously claimed the Silver Ferns played like a "bunch of scrubbers" in the 2003 world championship final.

While her frank and forthright approach has often jarred with the conservative netball set, many consider Plummer to be a breath of fresh air for the controversy-shy sport.

Norma Plummer

• Coached the Australian netball team from 2004 to 2011, winning two world championships during her tenure.

• After stepping down as Australian coach in 2011, she took over the reins of the Perth-based West Coast Fever side in the transtasman league.

• Known for her outspoken style, Plummer has often courted controversy over her coaching career.

• She got off to a rocky start with New Zealand fans when, after taking on the Australian coaching job, she famously claimed the Silver Ferns played like a "bunch of scrubbers'' in the 2003 world championship final.

- NZ Herald

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