Led by the Dame Lois Muir Supreme Award winner, rangy defender Kelly Jackson (nee Jury) capped an outstanding return for Netball Central personnel as the cream of the sport's finest in 2023 have been celebrated.

Netball Central players, coaches, umpires and volunteers featured prominently at the 2023 New Zealand Netball Awards with defensive diva Jackson, claiming the players' top award for the second year while midcourt pocket-rocket Maddy Gordon took out the ANZ Premiership Player of the Year to win the Casey Kopua MVP.

Netball recently took a back seat for Jackson, who managed to squeeze in her wedding celebrations with long-time partner Cam ahead of this year's ANZ Premiership.

Central duo Gareth Fowler and Caleb Binns scooped the umpire accolades with experienced whistler Fowler claiming the ANZ Premiership Umpire of the Year and Caleb Binns, the National Netball League (NNL) Umpire of the Year awards, respectively.

Guiding Central Manawa to a fifth title in her first year as head coach, Ngarama Milner-Olsen was celebrated as the NNL Coach of the Year.

Long-serving Kapi Mana stalwart Noeline Fisher was a popular choice for Volunteer Champion of the Year while Wellington player Thomson Matuku was the first winner of the Men's Player of the Year award.

In being recognised as New Zealand's best netballer across all competitions and campaigns last year, Jackson claimed the title outright after sharing the 2022 award with shooter Grace Nweke.

Apart from Laura Langman, who won the Supreme Award on three occasions, Jackson is the only other multiple winner since the inception of the New Zealand Netball Awards in 2015.

Continuing to impress as the last line of defence for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse, the 1.92m Jackson, 27, has gone ahead in leaps and bounds over the last three seasons. A commanding on-court presence through her leadership and consistent ability to turn ball over were constant highlights during 2023.

Jackson also featured in all the Silver Ferns 2023 campaigns, becoming a regular starter where her international impact continues to gain momentum.

"I was very surprised but obviously very honoured to win the award for a second time. 2022 was such a big year for me and I put that extra bit of pressure on myself to back that up with my performances in 2023," Jackson said.

"Both (awards) are very special and any recognition as huge as this is something I'm very proud of. I'm not one to enjoy the spotlight and being the centre of attention makes me a little bit uncomfortable but I'm really proud of myself and excited to be able to share this with my friends and family."

Pulse midcourt dynamo Gordon, 24, produced a compelling 2023 domestic season. Accurate and consistent with her ball skills, movement and feeding on attack, Gordon was equally reliable and influential on defence through her relentless disruptive hunting and speed.

"As a player, this is really special for me to know that if you put in the hard work, you can get better. And it's a great message to send out, that if you work hard, anything can happen," Gordon said.

Learning plenty, Milner-Olsen was happy to deflect the attention to the large support base at hand during a successful rookie season as Manawa head coach.

"You don't do it for the accolades, you do it because you're passionate about the sport. But it is a nice surprise," she said

"Without the bumps in the road, we wouldn't have had the learnings we picked up along the way which helped deliver the final outcome. And there's also the passion for the yellow dress, it bleeds strong here and is something we're really proud of."

Fisher has contributed to Kapi Mana Netball Centre since its inception in the 1970s, her name being synonymous with the Centre.

Fisher is responsible for manning the "tower" each Saturday, timing games and making announcements of teams and upcoming events while ensuring all aspects of the Saturday competition run smoothly.

She is also the kaitiaki of the Centre's trophies, caring for them and assigning them out each year. She brings in lunch each week for the umpires, treats the pavilion as she would her home, bringing her husband down to make repairs where necessary.

Fisher undertook some Te Reo lessons, particularly so that she could pronounce team names accurately and has developed a history book for the Centre. 

"Over the years, volunteering just became a part of my life and this acknowledgment is the pinnacle of that. I am very honoured," she said.

"I volunteer because I love my netball, I love the Pulse and follow them everywhere. Of course, with being out of our club, Whitney (Souness) is my girl."