Donna Wilkins

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Donna Wilkins
Donna Wilkins.png
Personal information
Full nameDonna Wilkins (née Loffhagen)
Born Donna Loffhagen
(1978-04-29) 29 April 1978 (age 44)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Spouse Mike Wilkins
Married 17 March 2007
Children 2 sons [1]
Netball career
Playing position(s): GS, GA
YearsClub team(s)Apps
1998–2007, 2009 Southern Sting
2011 Mainland Tactix
2012 Southern Steel
2013–2014 Central Pulse
YearsNational team(s)Caps
1996–2002 Silver Ferns 56

Donna Wilkins (née Loffhagen) (born 29 April 1978 in Christchurch, New Zealand) is a New Zealand representative in netball and basketball. She married Southland farmer Mike Wilkins on 17 March 2007. [2] Wilkins returned to the Southern Steel for the 2012 season, after a short stint with the Canterbury Tactix in 2011.



Wilkins has represented the New Zealand Silver Ferns 56 times, making her 50th cap against Barbados in Auckland, New Zealand. The 1.85 cm, Goal Attack and Goal Shoot, started her career for Canterbury in the National Championships in 1994 as a cool sixteen-year-old. She carried on playing for the province until called into the Silver Ferns in 1996. After four years playing top netball in Canterbury, Donna Wilkins signed with the Southland netball team for the 1997 season along with fellow Silver Ferns captain Bernice Mene. She shot the southerners into fourth place overall in the championships, a much improved performance of 10th the year before.

After Netball New Zealand announced plans for a new semi-professional franchise competition for 1998 season to replace the old provincial champs, the new Invercargill based franchise the Southern Sting retained Wilkins services along with Bernice Mene for the season. [3]

During the season Wilkins had scored 38 out of 51 goals against Otago Rebels but eventually lost the championship 57 to 51. [4]

She continued to play in the South for the Southern Sting till 2006, when she was called into the Suns basketball team in the American WNBA basketball competition. [5] She returned for the Stings semi final and final game during which she led them to win the semi final game 64–41 against the Northern Force [6] along with the final winning over Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the 2007 National Bank Cup with a score of 48–46. [7]

The Sting won seven out of the ten National Bank Cup titles, [8] being named as one of the world's best sporting teams. Other big names to play for the franchise include: Bernice Mene, Tania Dalton, Megan Hutton, Belinda Colling, Leana de Bruin, Liana Leota, Adine Wilson, Lesley Rumball, Naomi Siddall, Wendy Frew, Erika Burgess, Daneka Wipiiti and Natalie Avellino.

In 2008 a new trans-Tasman semi-professional league was launched, the ANZ Championship. Wilkins did not play in the first season due to pregnancy, but continued with the Southern Steel as an assistant coach. She returned to the playing lineup for the 2009 season, [9] where the Steel improved on their 2008 standing to reach the finals stage; the Steel were eventually defeated by the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the semi-finals. Later that month, Wilkins announced that she would not be returning to the Steel in 2010. [10]

Wilkins turned out for the Canterbury Tactix in 2011, [11] and for the next season returned to Southern Steel which she did with family help. [1]

As a member of the New Zealand national netball team, Loffhagen won two Commonwealth Games silver medals, at Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and Manchester in 2002. [12]


Wilkins formerly played for Canterbury in the NZ Women's Basketball League. In Australia, she played two seasons with the Canberra Capitals in the WNBL. [13] Prior to joining with the Canberra Capitals she also was on the Christchurch Sirens which won 76–55 against Dandenong Rangers and earned her a Most Valuable Player award. [14] In 2006, she signed for the Connecticut Suns in the US WNBA. [5]

As of 2006, Wilkins had 95 caps for New Zealand national team, [15] including the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens (where she played for Tall Ferns), [13] and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (as captain).

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  1. 1 2 "Family help Donna Wilkins to join Southern Steel". The Southland Times . 28 September 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  2. Burdon, Nathan (17 March 2007). "Donna Loffhagen, Mike Wilkins pronounced husband and wife". The Southland Times . Retrieved 22 January 2019 via PressReader.
  3. "Ferguson 'rapt' to make captain". The Southland Times . 6 February 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2019 via PressReader.
  4. Meikle, Hayden (30 April 2015). "Back in the day: Rebels crowned national league champions". Otago Daily Times . Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  5. 1 2 "Netball: Loffhagen pulls out of Silver Ferns for basketball". The New Zealand Herald . 3 February 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  6. "Sting's decade of excellence 10 straight final appearances". The Southland Times . 25 June 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2019 via PressReader.
  7. "Sting defeat of Magic leads to 10th final". The Press . 16 June 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2019 via PressReader.
  8. "Netball: National Championship teams". The New Zealand Herald . 4 April 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  9. Burdon, Nathan (14 November 2006). "Loffhagen's return to Sting prompts rule change from Netball New Zealand". The Southland Times . Retrieved 13 May 2008.[ dead link ]
  10. Johannsen, Dana (21 July 2009). "Wilkins hangs up Southern Steel bib". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  11. Seconi, Adrian (29 January 2011). "Netball: Wilkins excited by Canterbury challenge". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  12. "Donna Wilkins". International Olympic Committee . Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  13. 1 2 "Basketball: Loffhagen's off". The New Zealand Herald . 3 February 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  14. "Wilkins gets MVP award after Sirens' first win". Stuff . 31 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  15. "The Multi Talented Donna Loffhagen". New Zealand Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 10 October 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2007.