St Nicholas Netball Club 2022 Senior Coaches 

Meet our Senior Coaches for 2022!

A Team - Premier 1
Rhonda Blair & Sally Couper

Rhonda and Sally are returning this season to coach the St Nicholas Netball Club A team after a successful season in 2021, where the A team won Christchurch Netball Premier 2 competition and were the Goal Ratio winners for Premier to Senior Grades.  During the season the coaches partnered with Christchurch Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic to include a strength and conditioning programme into the team’s training.  

Both coaches bring a wealth of knowledge to the team from years spent playing, umpiring, managing and coaching at a high level.  They are committed to developing a strong team with a great culture who can perform on the court.  

Sally was the A Team manager for a number of years and is highly trusted by players and coaches alike.  She brings a wealth of knowledge from playing, coaching and managing at a high level.  Sally coached age group reps and High School A teams to strong finishes in the South Island Secondary Schools (SISS) Tournament. 


Heading into 2022 I am looking forward to working alongside Sally again continuing on from last year and cementing St Nicholas place in Premier 1.  I love seeing the  girls grow through the season not only individually but as a team.  Sally and I will looking to create not only a team culture but a club culture as well where there is pride and commitment to the St Nicholas Dress and each time the girls pull it on they have a sense of belonging.

I hold a Netball NZ Community Coaching Certificate (old system) gained by attending the NNZ Coaching Pathway Modules. I am hoping to complete my Community Coaching Award 2 (CCA2) this season.  I have also attended a vast number of coaching clinics over the years and coach development weekends with Age Group Development Squads.  Prior to 2021 I coached St Nicholas B & C teams for the last 13 years in the Premier & Senior Grades, I also coached my daughters junior school teams.  Over this time several teams gained promotion to Premier 1 & 2 and were Senior Grade Winners. I coached Selwyn Netball Centre Representative teams, U19’s and U21’s.  I was asked to be an independent selector at Selwyn Rep Trials for U15 and U17 age groups, this was certainly different having never seen any of the girls play.  Although I haven’t done a lot a umpiring over the last few years mainly U17’s down I was on the umpiring pathway having gained NZ Theory and working towards my NZ practical badge.  Umpiring took a backseat to coaching and once my 2 daughters starting playing there just wasn’t enough time to dedicate to the sport of umpiring - YES Umpiring is a sport in its own right.

Rhonda served on the St Nicholas Netball Club Committee (2008-2020) mainly as club secretary and coaching coordinator and last season was awarded Life Membership for 20 years service to the club. 

B Team – Senior 1 
Jenni Loffhagen

Jenni is a new coach to St Nicholas Netball Club this season.  Last season she coached in the North Canterbury Premier Grade, as well as coaching the CNC U16 Reps.  Jenni also coached the Rangiora High School Year 9 A team that made the final of the South Island Secondary Schools Junior Tournament.

Jenni has been coaching and playing in the Premier Grade in North Canterbury for a number of years, as well North Canterbury Senior and under-age rep sides. She also holds her NZ umpires Theory.

As a coach, Jenni has an emphasis on developing a positive team culture to ensure all players are working together. She is very keen to help players develop individually, helping them to achieve their full potential both as a player and to grow as an individual. Jenni believes in communicating openly to ensure expectations are met. She likes to encourage players to have input and to contribute to team training, which helps build confidence and success within the team.

Jenni is looking forward to the 2022 season, hoping that this year the games can be played without interruption to the season.

C Team – Senior 2
Jo Utting 

We welcomed Jo back to the club in 2021 from a few years away in the North Island.

I have been involved with the club for many years both as a player, coach and committee member, I played up to Senior Grade playing in the B team, winning the Senior grade.

Heading North in 2001, I played and coached for Shore Rovers Netball club for 20 years prior to returning back to Christchurch and St Nich's.

I enjoy coaching and watching the skills and knowledge of each player grow.  Prefering to coach the up and coming players coming through the club, my focus is always on getting the core basics right first and building on players own strengths.

My belief is the team is only strong when everyone is playing for each other.  Plus there's more to the game than practice and game time, netball is a game that you need to be fit to play, not a game that you play to get fit.  

I'm looking forward to seeing St Nic's get back to having some ascendancy within the Canterbury competition.  But there's a lot of hard work to get there and so I'm looking forward to 2022 season.

D Team – Challenge Grade 
Jess Neale

Jess is returning to coach the D team again this season.  She has played and coached at St Nicholas Netball Club for 11 years and has a talent for developing players and bringing a team culture together.  In the 2021 season Jess coached the D team into the top end of Second Grade to secure the team a spot in the Challenge Grade in 2022. She places a massive emphasis on learning new skills and developing players to be the best they can be. 

She holds high expectations of her players so they can be the best they can be whilst maintaining a strong team bond. 

The Challenge Grade is a new grade this season and Jess is looking forward to challenge of coaching a team in a tough and competitive closed grade.