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

On Friday night, we celebrated the very first Virtual South West Regional Goalden Globe Awards, after the original event in May was postponed due to the current pandemic. Myself (Laura Woodruff, SW Regional Coordinator) and the Regional Management Board spent time working out how would be best to celebrate all of the South West volunteers.

This year’s awards did not disappoint ­– we saw 93 volunteers including England Netball staff join us on Zoom to share laughter and tears, to celebrate the fabulous amount of hours and hard work that our volunteers put in. We recognised all the nominees across 8 categories, with the final award of the evening, the Heather Crouch Award, dedicated to one of the 8 winners.

The categories were announced by MC David White from BBC Radio Cornwall and featured videos from Fran Connolly, England Netball CEO; Team Bath players, Serena Guthrie, Eboni Usoro-Brown and Kim Commane; Severn Stars players, Jane Taylor, Chloe Carchrie and Paige Reed, and a wonderful surprise video from double Olympic champion, Helen Glover, and naturalist Steve Backshall.

Each award had at least 3 nominees and we heard lovely snippets about each nominee before the winner was announced. Read more about the winners below:

Grassroots Coach Award: Sarah Clark, East Devon

Sarah’s ability to think outside of the box is a great asset to her coaching, as she is able to provide feedback for athletes and encouraging players. Spending time reflecting on her coaching encourages her can-do attitude, which sets a great example to both peer coaches and athletes alike. Her love for coaching and the sport shine through, giving a great experience to keep teenage girls actively involved.

Nominees: Sharon Steward, Paula Isaacs, Rebecca Mitchell, Stacey Gilbert, Liz Banyard, Taryn Perkins, Lisa Birks, Karen Short & Kathryn Walker

Grassroots Officials Award: Danny Neill, Dorset

Danny provides opportunities for TTO and umpires across the South West and is always willing to support new umpires. His management and development of the Officiating Technical Support Group within Netball South West has seen a surge in courses, coordination of umpires and positive relationships with our franchises. He has been devoted to the game of netball for more than 20 years and always puts the needs of others above himself. Danny is the essence of what an official should be. 

Nominees:  Sarah Lewis, Caroline Cavanagh, Elizabeth Hall & Samantha Parker

Mary Bulloch Administrator Award: Heather Clemens, Cornwall

Over the past 5 years, Heather has always gone above and beyond her roles which have facilitated the smooth running of the club. Heather really is ‘club mum’, the go-to for a multitude of roles within the club but also for support for players. From funding, CAPS support and the prep talk she gives, she makes everything so much easier each time. Without Heather, the club would not have achieved financial security for their regional side.

Nominees: Sarah Lewis & Sarah Lapping

Muriel McNally Award: Lorraine Beel, East Devon

Since starting Titans Netball Club, Lorraine has made sure that the club runs effectively and efficiently for all members to enjoy netball. Over the past year, Lorraine has managed to increase the number of volunteers, provide more competition and have created a positive impact throughout the club. Lorraine is 100% committed to netball, always having a smile on her face even when she up till the early hours completing paperwork. Without Lorraine, Titans Netball Club would be nothing.

Nominees: Rebecca Squire, Danny Neill, Chrissie Brooks, Trish Warwick, Kelly Browne, Dawn Gardener, Mavis Thorpe, Natalie Roddy & Kelda Snell

Teacher Award: Louise Burgan, Dorset

Lou is passionate about sport, encouraging girls to try new positions/practices to help them be the best. Lou gives the girls the confidence to aim high and gives them the opportunities to play against teams of all levels, making sure they all receive significant match play and tournament experiences, and dedicating time outside of teaching hours to inspire the girls. Lou is a positive role model for the girls, and through her love of netball has seen them grow in confidence.

Nominees: Rebecca Divall & Nadia Edyvean

Outstanding Netball Club: Galmington Netball Club, Somerset

Galmington Netball Club is outstanding because of its commitment to developing and maintaining a positive, supportive, fair club culture. The community network support sees them donate contributions to various charities both locally and nationally. They have managed to build a wider volunteer base, which has allowed the club to continually develop with coaching, umpiring, playing and volunteering opportunities. Recognising worth and valuing volunteers, investing in personal development and operating in a culture that thanks individuals and rewards commitment is at the heart of the club, making sure that the future of netball at GNC is carried on.

Nominees:  Titans Netball Club

Unsung Hero Award: Jill Aldridge, Wiltshire

Jill at the age of 78 still manages, umpires, coaches and plays netball. She has dedicated 39 years of her life to netball and would still be coaching every night of the week if allowed! Jill is an inspiration to so many at the club and has expanded the management group at Croft, brought creativity and has supported numerous members in the community by volunteering in schools and providing the health and wellbeing benefits of netball. 

Nominees: Pat Lander, Sylvia Neill & Julie McClean

Young Volunteer Award: Abigail Humphrey

Abbie has enabled Bodmin Netball club to expand and develop the junior section due to her commitment to coaching, volunteering, and attending workshops, all alongside her studies. Abbie has worked alongside School Games Organisers to deliver netball in primary sessions and creating links to expand and develop the U12 section. Abbie always has a smile and is extremely encouraging towards players and participants.

Nominees: Ella Fraser-Smith, Amy Mortimer, Alice Clark, Georgina Goodwin, Charley Warren and Aimee Ellis.

Heather Crouch Award winner: Danny Neill!

We would like to say congratulations to all of the winners and nominees and we wish all the winners the best of luck when they go forward to the National Goalden Globe Awards that are taking place on the 10th December.

Keep your eyes peeled on the Goalden Globe page for the National award updates and news about next year awards (https://netballsouthwest.co.uk/make-the-game/votm/)

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)