Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles. 

Back in December, following the trend of the past year, the England Netball Vitality Goalden Globe Awards took place live on Youtube, with more than 750 people tuning in to watch. Netball South West are delighted that 4 volunteers received accolades on the night, Louise Burgan (Teacher Award) Jean Davies & Karen Jones (Honorary Life Member) & Lindsay Impett (Special Recognition).

The big surprises of the night were Jean Davies and Karen Jones becoming Honorary Life Members. This honour is given to individuals who have given exceptional service to England Netball at a National or International level over a period of time. It is recognised that netball volunteers commit many days, months, and years of their life to netball. At a national and international level, England Netball find this dedication and service invaluable. Our two wonderful volunteers that received these awards have gone above and beyond their roles.

Jean Davies:

Jean, a member of Saints Netball Club in Cornwall, is a proud ambassador of the sport who has dedicated her life to high performance netball development. Jean’s knowledge has been gained over many years, in many different roles on numerous committees. Her passion for netball shines through in all she does, especially in her goal of seeing netball in England become number one in the world. Jean has impacted so many individuals in her multiple roles especially as a coach and selector, currently holding the role of the Roses National Academy Selection Chair.

Aside from her national and county roles, Jean has also volunteered as a lead coach in the development of netball in Ethiopia, where she has worked with more than 40 Ethiopian teachers to empower the game in a fun and supportive environment. As an innovator with inspirational leadership skills and with player development focus, Jean is admired and respected by all who know her. Her experience allows her to work alongside Netball South West President Denise May organising the SW U16 & U14 Regional League, providing much-appreciated support to Denise.

On receipt of the Honorary Life Membership, Jean remarked that she is “absolutely thrilled to receive this accolade”. She went on to say that it was “totally unexpected” and that she was “totally shocked and humbled”, expressing thanks to those who nominated her.

Jean is one of those individuals that is unassuming of her own success and continues to give back to netball and provide opportunities to others.

Karen Jones:

Where to start about Karen, she is currently the chair of Netball South West and is an exceptional individual who has provided outstanding services to netball at National, Regional and County level in a variety of roles over the past 30 years. Karen has many years of experience in management/leadership/sport development to ensure discussions and decisions are always strategic and focused to support the direction of Netball South West.

She is passionate about umpiring, being an active A award umpire, tutor, assessor and mentor. She is committed to umpiring, coach education and giving back to grassroots netball for the future. Throughout her umpiring journey, Karen has actively travelled to umpiring around the UK and even further afield.

“Karen is the consummate professional and offers outstanding guidance and support to me in my role as President of Netball South West,” says Denise May MBE. “She gives unstintingly of her time to ensure netball is upheld as a leading sport, offering opportunities for all.”  Karen was very surprised and honoured to receive this well deserved award, and we couldn’t be prouder of her.

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to Laura Woodruff (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)