Twelve talented young women will get a helping hand to achieve their potential in memory of netball legend Tania Dalton, who died a year ago.

Husband Duane Dalton discussed Tania's legacy and the foundation that has been started in her name with the Herald.

Tania, 45, collapsed on February 23 last year while playing a game of social touch rugby.

She had suffered a brain aneurysm. After days in hospital her family made the difficult decision to switch off life support, she died on March 1.

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Former Silver Fern netballer Tania Dalton signs a ball for Marlee Raheke captain of Hastings year 7 team in 2003. Photo / Warren Buckland
Former Silver Fern netballer Tania Dalton signs a ball for Marlee Raheke captain of Hastings year 7 team in 2003. Photo / Warren Buckland

"Dare I say, collapsing on the touch field was tragic, but also, if she had to design it she would rather it be like that than on a hospital bed," Duane said.

Tania played for the Silver Ferns, the Northern Force and the Southern Sting. After retiring, she worked as a netball commentator on Sky Sports for international tests, the ANZ Championship and National Championships.

The family of former Silver Ferns netballer and TV commentator Tania Dalton has formally announced her death. Tristram Clayton is joined by Rikki Swannell to remember the life of an icon.

The Tania Dalton Foundation's goal is to "unleash epic potential through epic support", Duane said.

"She [Tania] was such a great believer in the power of sport to bring out the best in people. To win or lose graciously, sportsmanship, to put team before self - there were so many values she loved from sport.

Duane Dalton husband of netball player Tania Dalton who died suddenly one year ago from a brain bleed. Photo / Doug Sherring
Duane Dalton husband of netball player Tania Dalton who died suddenly one year ago from a brain bleed. Photo / Doug Sherring

"When you play amongst your peers you are never looking your best, your face is fluorescent red your hair is a mess. Nothing's fake, it's all just real.

"That's something T really loved. There is no cape to put around you. You are what you are. Your true colours shine through."

The foundation will announce the 11 recipients on March 12. The young women will be selected for their talent in sports, their character and challenging life circumstances. Each will receive up to $5000 a year for three years, mentoring from accomplished women such as Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, Adine Wilson, Anna Stanley and Donna Wilkins and access to support and programmes in resilience.

Tania Dalton training with her 7-month-old daughter Taylor in 2002. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Tania Dalton training with her 7-month-old daughter Taylor in 2002. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Setting up the foundation had been a healing process for everyone involved, Duane said. It was another chance to remember Tania as the effervescent, bubbly, generous and mischievous woman she was.

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She wasn't scared of dancing on table tops and Sweet Caroline was her favourite song to sing - family and friends sung it at her funeral.

Tania Dalton loved playing sports. Photo / Sandra Teddy - Photosport
Tania Dalton loved playing sports. Photo / Sandra Teddy - Photosport

Tania had amazing energy and at times was difficult to keep up with, Duane remembered.

"She's the only person I've ever met who could be on aisle two of the supermarket and 20 minutes into shopping because she's stopped to talk to so many people. And dare I say it some of that is rubbing off on her daughter.

"You'd go for a run around Lake Pupuke with Tania, and without a word of a lie you'd get 20 to 50 toots on the horn."

Tania Dalton playing for the Southern Stings in 2006. Photo / Martin Sykes
Tania Dalton playing for the Southern Stings in 2006. Photo / Martin Sykes

The couple met at teachers' training college 25 years ago while studying to be PE teachers. They were married 16 years ago on St Patrick's Day.

"We did that so neither of us would forget," Duane said.

"We were best friends and were to the day, we were very lucky."

New Zealand's Tania Dalton in action against Australia during the third and final netball test at the Westpac Centre in Christchurch in 2006. Photo / Simon Baker
New Zealand's Tania Dalton in action against Australia during the third and final netball test at the Westpac Centre in Christchurch in 2006. Photo / Simon Baker

The couple's three children - Matthew, 10, Charlie, 13, and Tayla, 16, - are all sports mad.

Like her mum, Tayla has aspirations to go professional. She is making great strides in that direction scoring 116 points in two games in last September's zone 1 secondary schools regional premierships in basketball.

Duane didn't want to talk about how the last year had been except he and the kids were okay and trying to adjust to a new life.

"Even though we were public, we are still very private people."

Duane's 45th birthday was on the anniversary of Tania's death. On the day, Charlie competed in the surf life saving nationals so Duane and the other kids attended in support. It was "a nice distraction", Duane said.

The Tania Dalton Foundation

The aim of the foundation is to support young women who show talent in sport and are in challenging life circumstances.

Twelve will be awarded to girls aged 15 to 18.

The recipients are selected from six sports - netball, tennis, touch rugby, surf life saving, basketball and rugby.

Each will receive up to $5000 a year for expenses, for three years.

Each recipient will be paired with a mentor.

To learn more visit the TDF website.