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A Somerset netballer has become only the second coach in England to attain a Level 3 Netball Coaching Qualification alongside holding her A award in officiating.
In fact, Jenna Adamson, who works as Director of Netball at Millfield School in Street, is the only active individual to currently hold both these prestigious qualifications in the country.
“I have always been involved with netball for as long as I can remember, which in the early days was as a player. Although I had coached locally and at camps and in schools, my coaching journey really started when I was 19 and I went to New Zealand to attend Uni and to play netball. A few months before I sustained a knee injury, so when I arrived at the club in New Zealand, they suggested I coach as I couldn’t play,” says Jenna of how she began her journey into coaching.
“When I returned to the UK, I worked my way up through the performance pathway from Satellite to NPL to coaching internationally. I have also worked in an array of schools and have been at Millfield since 2017. I am fortunate that I have managed to make my passion and hobby my career.”
To gain the UKCC Level 3 qualification, Jenna completed more than 200 hours of training, assessments and directed activities, over five years. And in an equally impressive role, Jenna – who as well as coaching at Millfield, is also Assistant Coach at VNSL team Celtic Dragons, and Assistant National Coach of Wales, as well as Head Coach of Team Bath ADC at Millfield School – has also worked her way up as an umpire to gain the A award – the highest award in the EN Officiating Pathway.
Gaining her A Award in November 2018, Jenna was selected into the Elite Development England Officiating group, which enabled her to umpire Netball Performance League (NPL) and Premier League games, as well as the opportunity to be selected to umpire Vitality Roses (England Netball) training and selection matches.
“I believe the two disciplines – coaching and officiating – go hand in hand. Coaching gives you a better understanding of the game as an umpire, in terms of what you can see in front of you and helps with movement and timing when you recognise principles and plays,” she says. “Umpiring gives you a better understanding of the game as a coach as you can proactively inform players of the rules and help them to understand why and where they can adjust their game on court.”
Having played, coached and umpired netball at very high levels, it’s clear that Jenna finds the sport rewarding. “Supporting others and having a positive impact on their learning within netball and their development as an individual off the court, is something which really motivates me to work within the sport,” she says. “Being a part of their journey and helping to shape them as people whilst preparing them for the next steps is incredibly rewarding.”
But for someone who’s such a positive force who’s gone so far in her netball journey, Jenna’s not ready to stop striving yet! “We are just about to go into block 3 of our prep for qualification with Wales for the Commonwealth Games,” she says. “All being well, I’m really looking forward to going to the Commonwealth Games next year, and working towards the Netball World Cup in South Africa the following year.” Nothing can stop Jenna!
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