Christchurch 1999

Christchurch 1999 Event Programme

Key Statistics

Champions: Australia (8th Title)

Runners Up: New Zealand

Dates: September 21st – October 2nd, 1999

Venue: Westpac Trust Arena (Indoors)

Host City/Country: Christchurch, New Zealand

Number of Teams: 26

Matches Played: 119

Number of Goals Scored: 12,303


Australia seal last gasp winner to claim 8th title

Australia with the trophy at the 1999 World Championships

The tenth edition of the championships ignited a community spirit in Christchurch, with the whole city working together to deliver a memorable tournament.

The city behind the success

The event included the whole city and was extremely beneficial to the local community. Local schools played a vital role in forging a strong connection between the community, delegates and players. CEO of the organising committee, Sheryl Dawson, reflects on how the committee engaged the local schools, “We ran a competition with the local schools to adopt a visiting team, we set it up in such a way that the connection was strong and quite robust. It was a very exciting time.”

Schools children would go to the matches dressed in the colours of their adopted teams, with the posters they had made, cheering on their new found heroes.

Volunteers were an integral factor to the success of this event as over 120 were drawn to Christchurch from all across New Zealand. “We had volunteers come from all over the country,” explains Sheryl.

Each of the competing 26 nations would have a volunteer hostess and a driver. Among other volunteer roles were Umpire Liaisons, Scorers, Time Keepers, Statistics, Results Display, Match Equipment and many more.

New Millennium 

The Opening Ceremony marked the end of the millennium, and that New Zealand would be the first country to see the rising of the sun. Past captains of New Zealand World Championship winning teams would carry the INF flag into the stadium dressed in black with a silver fern brooch.

The Closing Ceremony featured a parade of flags with captains of the local netball teams and the volunteers forming a guard of honour for the players.

The final would come down to Australia and New Zealand yet again, in what was another classic between the two. The game was the highest rated programme for TVNZ 2 at the time with nearly 7,000 jam packed inside the stadium.

The Comeback

Defending champions Australia were six goals down at three quarter time, with the scores at 28-34. The Diamonds produced an almighty comeback in the final fifteen and would win the game in the dying seconds, as Sharelle McMahon converted to make it 42-41 – and title number eight for Australia.

This was Sharelle McMahon’s first appearance at the tournament having made her debut for the national side in 1997. She was the youngest player in the gold-medal winning team from the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998. At the time, this made Sharlelle Australia’s second most capped player with 118 caps to her name. Her last second goal to give Australia an eighth world title will never be forgotten.

Final Standings

1st – Australia

2nd – New Zealand

3rd – England

4th – Jamaica

5th – South Africa

6th – Fiji

7th – Cook Islands

8th – Trinidad & Tobago

9th – Samoa

10th – Barbados

11th – Malawi

12th – Singapore

13th – Canada

14th – Wales

15th – USA

16th – Northern Ireland

17th – Zambia

18th – Papua New Guinea

19th – Malaysia

20th – Scotland

21st – Sri Lanka

22nd – Tonga

23rd – Cayman Islands

24th – Hong Kong

25th – Niue

26th – Vanuatu

Australia team having a team talk during the 1999 World Championships

Video courtesy of Netball Australia