A champion on and off the court
Tania Dalton (nee Nicholson) was an inspiring sportswoman and a friend to all she met.
Her journey in the world of sports began in her early years playing netball and tennis. Growing up in a nation where sport is cherished, Tania developed her skills and rapidly climbed the ranks, showcasing her unique talent on the court. A trained teacher Tania influenced and supported many up-and-coming young athletes and encouraging all no matter what ability to give sports a go.
Known for her athleticism, and versatility, Tania made her mark as a player of exceptional talent. Some of Tania’s biggest achievements included being a member of the New Zealand national netball team, the Silver Ferns with her international netball career spanned from 1996 to 2007 withdrawing for family commitments. She was part of the 2003 Netball World Championships winning Silver Ferns squad. As player number 113 she made 12 caps for New Zealand in total playing Goal Shooter and Goal Attack.
Tania was a member of the premier domestic netball team, Northern Force from 1998 until 2000, and the multi-championship-winning Southern Sting from 2002 to 2006. In 2004, Dalton finished the season as an assistant coach to the Southern Sting due to injury but returned the following year as a player.
In 2008, Dalton rejoined the southern steel line-up as a replacement for injuries. She did not play that year, but she was offered a two-game end of season contract by the northern Mystics which she declined. In 2007 Tania served as a temporary replacement in the southern steel ANZ Championship pre-season lineup.
Her transition from netball marked the beginning of a new chapter in her life. Tania transformed into a highly regarded sports commentator and television personality with SKY Sport. Her deep knowledge of netball, combined with her charismatic and insightful commentary, charmed her fans and sports enthusiasts. She became a familiar face on television broadcasts of netball matches, sharing her experience and passion for the sport with a broader audience.
She married fellow university student and national representative sportsman Duane Dalton together raising a family of three and starting a successful business Pita Pit NZ.
Tania's impact extended beyond her professional achievements. She was celebrated not only for her sports but also for her warm and friendly personality. Her dedication to her family, friends, and community was well-known. Tragically, her life was cut short when she suffered a ruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm while playing a social game of touch rugby in her hometown of Takapuna. She passed away on March 1, 2017.
Many mourned her passing, and her legacy continues as a testament to her sporting excellence, her contributions to netball, and the positive influence she had on those who knew her personally. Tania Dalton remains a cherished figure in New Zealand's sporting history, her memory living on in the hearts of many.