The second annual Helen Dodge Memorial Tournament will take place at the Harbourside Netball courts at Blake Park tomorrow.

The event has attracted 53 teams from Cambridge, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Ōpōtiki, Mercury Bay, Taupō, Tokoroa, Genazzano (Australia), Hamilton, Harbourside Tauranga, Whakatāne, Otorohanga, Gisborne, Thames Valley, Rotorua and Maniapoto.

The teams will play across all divisions from Year 7 (14 teams), Year 8 (10), Under-15 (17), Under-17 (7) and Under-19 (4).

The opening round will begin at 9am with major semifinals due to get under way from 2pm.


The tournament honours the memory of the long-time Harbourside Netball Centre chief executive Helen Dodge, who died two years ago.

When Helen and husband Bruce moved to Tauranga from Gisborne, Helen was quickly recruited to play for the Tauranga Old Boys netball team.

Her first coaching assignment came with daughter Lisa's Brookfield Primary team, which led to volunteering to help with junior management at the old Cliff Rd netball courts.

A transition to senior volunteer management saw Helen involved with the amalgamation of the Western Bay of Plenty netball centres that formed the Harbourside Netball Centre.

Twenty-one years ago she accepted the chief executive position of the newly restructured regional netball centre.

One of her first changes was to gradually move Saturday netball to be played on several week nights to better accommodate a changing environment.

The change allowed more players to take part in the various competitions, with player numbers skyrocketing.

Her lasting legacy to the Harbourside Netball Centre will be the programmes she introduced to Western Bay of Plenty netball.

The ANZ Future Fern and Fun Fern programmes, which enabled young children to learn to play netball in a fun environment before they enter competitive netball, were quickly adopted.