Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.
On Saturday 14th October, the National ONE Awards took place at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield. South West Regional winners, their guests, and members of Netball South West Regional Management Board, came together with other volunteers from across the country to celebrate all the incredible work each and every one of them do to make netball happen.
Out of the 10 South West winners we are thrilled that two won National Awards! Linda Andrews won the Coach of the Year (Adults) Award and Alisha Gardener won the Young Volunteer of the Year Award. In addition to the ONE Award winners, Barbara Warburton was awarded the England Netball Long Service Award, and Wiltshire County Netball Association were awarded the Special Recognition Award for their superb women’s health netball festival held earlier this year, inspired by Mo Squires, and combining expert education on many female health topics in relation to England Netball’s new programme, NETBALLHer.
“I was honoured to be representing the South West and truly overwhelmed to be recognised by England Netball as Coach of the Year. I have been inspired by so many special coaches over the years and lucky to have coached and been involved with such wonderful players. I am very grateful to everyone who has contributed to my coaching journey.” – Linda Andrews (Coach of the Year)
Alisha Gardener - Young Volunteer of the Year
"Alisha began volunteering as a netball coach at the age of 14, gaining Level 2 status by the time she was 18 years old, having followed the “Pass On Your Passion” programme, rapidly reaching 100 hours of volunteering. She is now Head Coach at Queens Netball Club, where she supports players and coaches of all ages and abilities. Alisha clearly loves Netball and has a positive attitude which encourages people around her to engage in warm ups, training drills and gameplay. She promotes the club to people in the community and make new members feel welcome, involved and part of the group."
“The reasons for organising the Wiltshire County Netball Associations Women’s Health Tournament were three-fold. Primarily to raise awareness of women’s health conditions and symptoms and treatments, secondly to raise money for three cancer related charities, and last but not least to enjoy a great day of netball, the sport we all love, be it League, Walking or Bees! We’re so proud that our efforts have been recognised by England Netball and are really chuffed to receive the Special Recognition Award, it means a lot, and the synergy of our tournament and England Netball’s NETBALLHer initiative is clear to see. Our sincere thanks go out to our very generous sponsors, our army of volunteers, officials, players and spectators, we could not have done it without their help and support.” – Cathy Caulfield, Wiltshire County Netball Association Marcomms Lead
A bit about Barb!
Having played and umpired for Drifters Netball club in the 1980s, Barb started volunteering on the Gloucestershire County committee in 1987, taking on various roles, and was instrumental in setting up formal mentoring programmes and assessment pathways for learners.
She is on the County Officiating Working Group and still actively involved in mentoring and supporting C and B umpires. Her no-nonsense approach and reputation is well known across the county leagues. When Barb enters the sports hall on a Saturday with her clipboard, there is a noticeable quickening of pace by the umpires! She has supported Hucclecote's National Premier team as a Technical Official for home matches for some seasons, and has previously been a Technical official for both Team Bath and Severn Stars home matches.
Thank you to the thousands of volunteers who help to make our incredible sport what it is, netball would not happen without you.
If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering in netball, click here.
If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to the South West Regional Officer (email@example.com). Something exciting happening where you are? Don’t forgot to use #netballsw.
All photos courtesy of Flynn Duggan (@flynnduggan.photography)