Former Black Sticks player appointed high performance director for Softball NZ

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne

Former Black Sticks great, Darren Smith will be trading in his hockey stick to take up a new role as Softball New Zealand’s high performance director.

Smith played 212 games for the Black Sticks and went on to become the assistant coach for the Black Sticks for 6 years. He has just returned to New Zealand after coaching the Ireland national women’s team for almost 3 years.

Because of Smiths experience as a coach and player in international sport, Softball New Zealand’s chief executive, Tony Giles believed Smith was the best candidate for his new position.

Smith said on returning to New Zealand after coaching the Ireland team, he was looking for an opportunity outside of hockey, and his newly appointed role in softball stood out.

Before devoting himself to a successful career in hockey, Smith played junior softball for a few years as the catcher and reserve pitcher for the Kaikorai and Green Island clubs in Dunedin.

Smith officially starts his new role on 31 August.