Bernice Mene

Bernice Mene is an athlete, teacher and former Silver Fern Netball Captain. Bernice has an inspiring message for everyone.
She was a member of the New Zealand Silver Ferns netball team for 10 years and led the squad for five. She regards the captaincy as one of the highlights, alongside winning her first test cap and like all good kiwis she particularly enjoyed beating the Aussies. Her athletic achievements were recognised in the New Zealand honours list of 2002 where she was awarded a MNZM.

Former Silver Fern captain Bernice Mene was born into a sporting family. Her father was a New Zealand National champion in Decathlon, her mother participated in the Pentathlon and her Auntie Pauline Flynn was a NZ Netball Representative. So naturally enough as a youngster, Bernice was included in the family outings which headed most nights to the athletes track. Bernice always stood head and shoulders above others her age and at twelve was a towering six foot tall. She first played netball at ten and was selected for under age representative teams from then on, forging into the Canterbury Senior team at sixteen, and the Silver Ferns the following year.

She was an athlete and career education advisor for the New Zealand Academy of Sport and is fulfilling an education resource contract with Paralympics New Zealand. Bernice has a Diploma of Teaching from the Southland Campus, Dunedin College of Education. In 1997 she completed a Diploma of Creative Writing with the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies following receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University.

Her teaching experience began at Otago Girls' High School where she taught French English and German as well as taking charge of Clubs. In 2001 she moved to teach at Mount Albert Grammar School.

In February 2003 Bernice married Dion Nash. Dion was a front-line member of the Black Caps cricket side and a former New Zealand captain while Mene, 28, captained the New Zealand and Southland netball teams. Later Mene moved to Nash's hometown of Auckland, despite the gruelling commute to her Invercargill-based netball commitments. In January 2002, Mene made her decision to retire from the Silver Ferns.

Nash's retirement from cricket and Mene's swansong with the Southern Sting followed in mid-2002, at last allowing the couple to spend more time together than had been possible as elite sportspeople. While both have denied that they influenced each others' decisions to retire, their bond and, no doubt, their shared experience of injury was clearly a great support to both of them in ending their careers as it had been while they still played. They spent a few weeks travelling together in South America before returning to Auckland and their wedding plans.

Bernice is a NZ Academy of Sport ACE Advisor and an AUT Athlete Advisor. She mentors sport scholarship students at AUT via her role as an Academy of Sport ACE advisor. With her holistic approach to life which includes fluency in several languages, teaching qualifications, managing sports contracts and experience at hosting television shows, Bernice is enjoying her portfolio career, with Dion and their 3 children.