SPORTS

Our New Pearls Analyst

The appointment was made pos­sible through the Pacific Sports Partnership programme with the Australian government.
01 Mar 2019 18:21
Our New Pearls Analyst
From left; Silver Ferns former manager Sharon Kearney, Bobby Willcox and former Silver Ferns head coach Waimarama Taumaunu. Photo: Silver Ferns

Bobby Willcox is the new performance analyst of the Fijian Pearls for the Netball World Cup in England on July 12-21.

The former Silver Ferns perfor­mance analyst appointment was confirmed by Fijian Pearls head coach Vicki Wilson.

“Dr Bobby Willcox has been ap­pointed as our performance ana­lyst,” Wilson said.

The appointment was made pos­sible through the Pacific Sports Partnership programme with the Australian government.

The deal was sealed when Austral­ian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit in January where he announced the extension of the Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP) programme to include Fiji, with a high performance focus on netball and rugby league.

Having the services of Willcox in the Fijian camp will boost the in­tensity and will help create a com­petitive environment on and off the field.

“Willcox is amazing,” Wilson add­ed.

In 2018, after 14 years in the role, Bobby made the decision to step away from the Silver Ferns, and to­gether with Dessi founded Point 9 Analytics, where she hopes to pass on her learnings and experience in High Performance netball to a more global audience.

About Willcox

The former Silver Ferns Perfor­mance Analyst played and coached throughout her school and univer­sity years.

After completing an Arts and Sci­ence conjoint degree at the Uni­versity of Auckland, majoring in Classical Studies, Pure Mathemat­ics and Statistics, Bobby sensibly gave up her dream of becoming an adventuring archaeologist just like Indiana Jones and became involved with Netball New Zealand in 2004 through completing her Masters Degree in Stat with a project model­ling factors affecting shooting suc­cess in netball.

A short stint as the Research Ana­lyst at the Property Council of New Zealand while still working as the Silver Ferns analyst on the side fol­lowed, before returning to univer­sity in undertake her PhD studies in Statistics.

Again, her topic of choice was a statistical investigation in netball, using Cluster Analysis to identify and classify different playing styles with each position. This research, with consultation from the Silver Ferns coaching team at the time, laid the framework for an analysis system Bobby built and continued to develop the next 10 years in the then greatly expanded Silver Ferns Performance Analyst role.

During her time with the Silver Ferns, Willcox attended four Com­monwealth Games (Melbourne, Delhi, Glasgow and Gold Coast) and three World Cups (Auckland, Singa­pore and Sydney). She also worked closely with some of New Zealand’s greatest coaches – Ruth Aitken, Leigh Gibbs, Wai Taumaunu, Vicki Wilson, Yvette McCausland-Durie and Janine So and a number of leg­endary players

– Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj



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