Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
Category: Sports Hall of Fame
When a new player is selected to represent Australia in cricket he receives a baggy green cap. In the sport of Netball, players selected in the Australian team receive a necklace. Shepparton’s Liz Taverner became the proud owner of a necklace engraved with the number 115 and the year she made her debut when she won selection in the Australian netball team.
It all started in Shepparton when Liz showed great promise as an athlete and netballer whilst attending St. Brendan’s School and Notre Dame College.
Liz represented her state in athletics during her school years, she was a talented high jumper, long jumper and triple jumper. However it was netball that won out as her chosen sport and her wonderful talent saw her win a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra as a netballer after her secondary education.
The institute provided the opportunity for Liz to train with the best netballers in the country and she set her sights on wearing the green and gold colours of Australia. She was at the highest level of domestic netball as a player with Melbourne Phoenix. This gave her wonderful experience playing with top class players and learning what it would take to make the national squad. It was very hard to break into the Australian team which had been so successful however Liz persisted aiming for the top. Her netball dreams were fulfilled when she was selected in the Australian team in 1996 to play against Australia’s great rivals the New Zealand “Silver Ferns”. It was a wonderful debut as she won the player of the match award. Liz became a much respected member of the Australian squad as she travelled internationally with the team.
At the peak of her career she suffered an injury to her left knee and spent a year out of the sport. Liz returned to the Australian squad but then injured her right knee and spent time in rehabilitation before returning to fight her way back into the team Unfortunately her injuries deprived her from playing in the World Championships and the Commonwealth games.
Liz returned to the domestic competition and played in four premiership teams as a co- captain with Melbourne Phoenix in the Commonwealth Bank trophy competition. Her leadership ability was recognised and she was made captain of the strong Phoenix team. The last game Liz played for Phoenix was very special as the team won back to back premierships and defeated the fancied Sydney Swifts. Liz also represented Australia in a tour of the West Indies and a home series against South Africa. She won the title of best Goal defence in the Netball Australia “Team of the year”.
Liz retired in 2003 and in retirement, does some specialist coaching whilst also coaching her daughter’s netball team.
Liz Taverner (Boniello) is well recognised as Shepparton’s greatest netball export.