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To the Black Ferns,

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Written by Daz Burns


To the Black Ferns,

Eagles don’t take flight lessons from chickens!

You defined who you were in every moment.

Every step.

You didn’t sit back and allow others to define you. 

You didn’t allow a bad season to define you.

You created your culture.

You created your comms.

You created a game that you wanted to play.

You created a game young girls want to play!

You created a game all of Aotearoa want to see more of!

You created havoc in the best possible way.

You inspired the world.

You defined what legends are.

You made an undeniable difference in our lives.

And you did it all just being authentically yourselves.


There are so many lessons for us to take away from your mahi:


  1. Everyone can lead in all areas of a team. Use your strengths and share them with everyone.
  2. Believe in your ability to perform, to shine and to succeed.
  3. Contribute meaningfully by boosting, supporting and lifting others around you.  
  4. Choose to be confident, no matter what other people’s opinions are.
  5. Control your controllables and anticipate challenges.
  6. You can influence positive change by being authentically you. 
  7. No matter the distraction, hype, pressure or challenge, stay focused and concentrate on your mahi.
  8. Step forward. No matter how small the step, backwards isn’t an option. 
  9. Preparation is an undeniable advantage, plan and get your routines nailed. 
  10. Check in with yourself regularly, for stress, for anxiety, for excitement, for tension and self-regulate to manage all the vibes that flow. 
  11. Breath and take it all in, ALL OF IT, every moment, you only get around 4000 weeks in your life, be present, be grateful, be all in.
  12. List your objectives and know how you are going to achieve them, together.
  13. Foster a growth mindset.
  14. Communicate what you need ahead of time.
  15. Take care of all areas of your wellbeing. Not last, first. 
  16. Perspective – have it, always. Reflect on moments and pay attention to what you find.
  17. Connect to your identity, you are more than what you do.  Connect to who you are, you are a friend, a parent, a helper, a lover, a fighter, a daughter, a son, a grandchild, a keeper of the torch, a person.  
  18. Challenge the status quo. Stand up. Draw a line in the sand. Inspire. What trail are you blazing as the next generation’s ancestor?   
  19. Energy is contagious. Good or bad. Your sense of humor is key to dealing with life’s ebbs and flows.
  20. Celebrate the shit out of everyone, everything, every moment, every damn time! Every moment counts!


And for the foreseeable future, Black Ferns, we will be celebrating the shit out of you and all you have done and all you will do in the future! 


He manako te kōura i kore ai

Wishing for crayfish, won’t bring it

(Go to work and achieve your goals)


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