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Cat Tuivaiti joins Severn Stars coaching team

Severn Stars have added Cat Tuivaiti to their coaching team for the 2021 season. Tuivaiti, who last played for Strathclyde Sirens before announcing her pregnancy, is renowned around the world for a unique, unpredictable and creative style of play that has endeared her to fans wherever she has played.

Tuivaiti, who played 30 tests for Samoa, 24 tests for the Silver Ferns and 165 games across Northern Mystics, Central Pulse and Adelaide Thunderbirds before her stint in the Superleague with Sirens, will bring a wealth of experience to the Stars set-up as they head into the new season.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Stars head coach Melissa Bessell said, “Cat is family to me,” Bessell said to Sky Sports. “She was headhunted by so many of the franchises asking her whether she could come back and be a player-coach. Before we had the lockdown in England, I’d been over to Italy to see her and her son Bash [Sebastian] anyway. I asked her what she was planning on doing, whether she was going to play or not, and she shared that she’d like to get into coaching.

“I said straight away that she could be with me. I knew that I needed someone to help with my shooters and knew that Cat could take it to a different level.

“She brings so much and things that are just so amazing.”

Bessell highlighted how far the pair go back and the connection they have, “my mother actually found her as a netballer. Mum drove up north [in New Zealand], she was driving through where Cat lived and went to watch a school netball tournament.

“She saw this netballer giving a lot of attitude on the court and said that there was something special about her. My mum got Cat a school scholarship so then drove up to Cat’s family home, met her mum and dad, and brought Cat back for her netball.

“She lived with my mum and my dad, hence why there’s such a close relationship between our families. Cat is an extension of my family that is how it all started.

“There’s a very special connection between Cat and me, I’m like her big sister. I’ve always been her sounding board when things have got tough or she just wants a shoulder to lean on… I’m there.”

There is no doubt, the addition of Cat Tuivaiti to the Stars management team will enhance their chances and their attacking play will be worth watching as the season goes on.

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