#wedNEWSday – England Netball secures Jess Thirlby as the new Head Coach

England Netball is delighted to announce that highly respected netball coach Jess Thirlby has agreed to take on the role of Vitality Roses Head Coach. 

Thirlby was selected for the role shortly after Tracey Neville stepped down from the position following Neville’s four year stint at England Netball.

Thirlby‘s solid credentials stem from her sixteen year record as an elite netballer and some fifteen years as a netball coach. Thirlby represented her country from 1991-2006, in 2006 she transitioned into senior coaching with the Celtic Dragons, having already coached at England U17 and U19 during 2004 and 2005. She has held the position of England U21 Head and Assistant Coach during two World Youth Cups (Cook Islands 2009 and Glasgow 2013) and has worked as both an Assistant and Technical Coach with the senior England team (2013-15).

Following 20 years of her netball career as both a player and a coach at the first full time high performance environment at Team Bath based at the University of Bath, Thirlby now joins England Netball with a wealth of experience in identifying and developing high performance athletes. During her time at Bath Thirlby consolidated her experience as an elite player to take on the role of Head Coach at the England Netball Intensive Netball Training Centre, which in turn led to her role as Director of Netball at Team Bath in 2008.

Joanna Adams, CEO of England Netball, said “We are delighted to welcome Jess Thirlby to England Netball as our new Head Coach. Jess’ thorough understanding of the elite netball landscape and experience of working with some of the Vitality Roses’, both past and present, makes her the perfect fit for this role.

“Tracey did a fantastic job of growing this sport during her time as Head Coach, she will be missed but I know Jess will do a phenomenal job at continuing to build on the Roses’ legacy and developing our up and coming players into world class athletes.

“I’d like to wish her the best of luck in this role and look forward to working with her ongoing.”

During her time as a player, Thirlby won her first Superleague title with Team Bath in 2005-06 having already played for England at every level from U16-U21 and then as a senior, which included competing at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games alongside former England Head Coach Tracey Neville.

Thirlby has been involved in all five Team Bath Netball Superleague title successes as either a coach or a player.

Thirlby, who was the first netball coach to be selected and graduate from the highly respected UK Sport Elite Coaching Programme, said: “It is an absolute honour and privilege to be appointed as the Vitality Roses Head Coach. I have a huge amount of respect for Tracey, the Roses and the team behind them that have led this wonderful sport to where it is today. This is a great time to be taking on the role as we head into Netball‘s exciting next chapter. My focus will be to harness and build upon the momentum and solid foundation gained over the past four years.

“I expect the look and feel of the team to change as some players may begin to consider hanging up their netball trainers following the Vitality Netball World Cup, but I am excited to invest in and develop the amazing new talent that is coming through. We‘ve had phenomenal national support and wide coverage of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup, which can only strengthen our focus and resolve as we set our sights on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, another major event on home soil.

“I recognise and am truly honoured that England Netball have put their faith in me to take on this pivotal role within the England programme and can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Sara Symington, Performance Director at England Netball, said: “After seeing Jess’ success and progression as a coach over the years, it is clear that she lives and breathes netball and has done an outstanding job at creating a positive culture at Team Bath throughout her time there. I’m sure she will do an equally brilliant job working with the Roses and we are delighted to have her on board.”

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a photo, to Laura Woodruff (laura.woodruff@englandnetball.co.uk)

#wedNEWSday – Vitality Roses take netball to new heights!

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles. Make sure you check out our website each week to keep up to date and if you have a great story let us know using the details below!

Can you believe the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 is over already?

It was a thrilling event taking place over 10 days in Liverpool which saw over 11,000 spectators to the M&S Bank Arena and saw England secure a bronze medal. The tournament saw exhilarating action, incredible intercepts, and goals galore! It has inspired a nation to see how exciting netball can be and English netball fans have witnessed tears, laughter and celebration throughout.

Lots of our South West netballers travelled hundreds of miles too see the Rose’s & the atmosphere netball had created on Liverpool! This included, Issy Birks, being the ball  girl for the England v Samoa game, the South West team working at the fan park, many clubs attending and even the Regional Management Board committee members cheering on.

After the Gold Medal win at the Commonwealth Games last year the Vitality Roses inspired more than 130,700 people to start playing netball or more netball and since the final day of this year’s tournament there has been a 1000 per cent increase in visits to the England Netball session finder.

Over this week there will be 500 netball sessions taking place around the country. Here in the South West we have lots of sessions taking place in the Biggest Summer of Netball so make sure that you find your nearer session and either get back on court or do more netball.

https://www.englandnetball.co.uk/netball-sessions/

Alternatively please contact your local netball development officer for your nearest session:

Amy Ruffell-Hazell – Gloucestershire Netball Development Officer

📧 Amy.ruffell-hazell@englandnetball.co.uk

Kerry Brooks – Avon & Wiltshire Netball Development Officer

📧 Kerry.Brooks@englandnetball.co.uk

Karen Peaty-Dorset Netball Development Officer

📧 Karen.peaty@englandnetball.co.uk

Sammy Kemmish – Somerset Netball Development Officer

📧 Samantha.kemmish@englandnetball.co.uk

Jenny Kelly – Devon Netball Development Officer

📧 Jennifer.kelly@englandnetball.co.uk

Fern Noott – Cornwall Netball Development Officer

📧 Fern.noott@englandnetball.co.uk

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a photo, to Laura Woodruff (laura.woodruff@englandnetball.co.uk)

#WedNEWSday – Dorset School Head to World School Games!

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles. Make sure you check out our website each week to keep up to date and if you have a great story let us know using the details below!

The World School Games Event Series provides a unique stage for the world’s best young athletes to compete with and against each other, in a positive, fun and competitive environment, at truly world class facilities. This provides an opportunity for the best school netball teams on earth to showcase their talents on the international stage. Talbot Heath School in Dorset attend the World School Games, Netball Cup in Loughborough from the 23rd – 25th June representing England.

The coach Louise Burgan said ‘It was a brilliant event with schools from Scotland, Dubai, Egypt and England. We had two teams representing Talbot Heath. Our U15’s came 8th out of 22 schools overall and our U13 team came 5th out of 16 schools. We are incredibly proud of the two teams as the standard of netball was high and it was nice to see two Dorset school teams achieve against some tough teams’

Well done to both the U15 & U13 teams, it’s a fantastic achievement for you!

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a photo, to Laura Woodruff (laura.woodruff@englandnetball.co.uk)

#wedNEWSday – South West netballer has headed on tour!

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles. Make sure you check out our website each week to keep up to date and if you have a great story let us know using the details below!

Exeter College Academy & Team Bath U19 player, Rachel Fee has had a brilliant 2019 so far!  She has been chosen as the Exeter College Netball Captain for 2019 and is currently on tour in New Zealand and Australia with the England U19 squad.

On her selection into the England Squad, the Team Bath U19 player said ‘I have been trying to make the England squad for 3 years. I had been rejected in previous trials and been told I wasn’t fit enough. This was not easy for me to hear and I was constantly knocked in confidence. But this didn’t stop me from coming back from trials and taking the feedback on board. I started to work even harder in training and I never gave up. I came back fighting even stronger after every rejection. And it really paid off because I am now in the U19 England squad. I literally cried my eyes out because I was so happy. I have been trying for years to get into this squad and it finally happened’

Defence player Rachel trains 3-4 times a week in the gym, strength and conditioning sessions 2-3 times a week while mixing in netball training and matches. She attends the Loughborough Camp every month and this has meant that she has been able to grow as a netball player and as a person as well. Her next sporting goal is to be selected and play in the U21 Youth World Cup

The U19 England Team are currently blogging their adventures while on tour so make sure you are following @U19Netball on Twitter for the latest updates!

Good Luck Rachel on the tour and for your future netball targets.

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a photo, to Laura Woodruff (laura.woodruff@englandnetball.co.uk)