A childhood spent dreaming of playing netball has led to a lifetime of involvement in the sport for Barbara Reid.
Now her decades of passionate commitment to the sport has resulted in her being honoured with a Stratford District Council Citizens Award.
Barbara is well known in the Stratford district for her contagious smile and personality, and that smile is never bigger than when she is near the netball courts.
"I just love everything about netball. I always have."
Barbara's love of the game started when she was a child, growing up in the Marsh family home, where she was fostered.
"I always wanted to play, but at the time it just wasn't possible, so I didn't get to enjoy a game myself until I was 23. It was worth the wait though."
As an adult, Barbara has dedicated countless hours of time to ensuring as many people as possible get to play netball.
Over the years she has coached and managed Stratford Association Rep Age groups, been involved with numerous local primary and secondary school teams as well as being satellite co-ordinator for winter, summer and spring leagues, along with being stadium and bench official co-ordinator for premier netball at the TET Stadium.
Some of her fondest memories come from her time coaching the local Checkmates team back when she first got involved in the coaching side of the sport.
"It was more than just being a coach really, in a way I was a second mother to them as well."
She and her husband Eddie, who she married at the age of 17, even bought the team's uniforms for them.
"We always made sure those girls had the best."
After becoming an umpire herself, Barbara has gone on to coach others to become umpires as well.
"I never criticise what they have done, I give suggestions for other ways to do something instead. It's about positive reinforcement not negativity."
Being named a recipient of a 2020 Stratford District Council Citizens Award is a big honour, she says.
"I was very shocked to receive the phone call telling me. I tried to get out of it actually, I am only one of lots of people who keep netball going in the town."
The Citizens Award isn't the only honour Barbara has received over the years for her dedication to the sport. In 2008 she was awarded a Netball Taranaki Service Award in recognition of 30 years service to the sport, and in 2010 she was named Taranaki's bench official of the year.
Barbara's time as a bench official has included some big games over the years, including the 1999 World Netball Championship in Christchurch, a game she claims not to remember which team won.
"Oh, that team in yellow won I think."
On or off the netball courts, Barbara is passionate about caring for children in the community, and has been chairwoman of the Avon School board for the past six years. A former pupil of the school herself (she also attended Stratford Primary School and Stratford High School), Barbara runs the breakfast in schools programme at Avon School.
"I believe every child needs a good breakfast in them to start their day. I stand at the door and ask every one of them 'have you had breakfast?', Even if they say yes I still get them to come in and eat something. I make sure they have all eaten that way."
On and off the courts, Barbara has made a difference to countless young lives in the district over the years, and says she doesn't regret a single minute spent volunteering.
"As long as you have a good team around you it's all good. It might have been lots and lots of hours, but I value every single hour of it."