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

Welcome to part two of our three-part series on Netball South West’s Lockdown Hero’s and the incredible work that they have been doing. Today we celebrate those from Somerset and Dorset.

 

Somerset

Rebecca Squire

“Becky’s enthusiasm for netball is infectious and over the last 18 months she has been the driving force behind Somerset County. Her pro-active approach has kept morale high within her committee, leading them through every stage of COVID-19 modifications and constantly offering her assistance to clubs. Becky has overseen every aspect of the restarts and the shut downs, she has ensured that clubs were not left behind due to facility or membership problems. She made sure that social media accounts were kept up to date, providing members with guidance, updates and a platform in which to stay connected to one another. Becky’s personality is what has help the County come together. She really was the best person to lead Somerset County Netball through this pandemic.”

Victoria Bisgrove

“Victoria led fitness sessions via Zoom throughout all lockdowns. Inspiring many players to keep fit through Pilates, ball drills and cardio workouts. It enabled players to connect socially and provided a huge benefit to our mental health. Once the netball courts were open again, Victoria worked to ensure the safety of teams returning to court. She really is an amazing person!”

Faye Symons

“Faye has worked tirelessly and selflessly to make sure our members can get back to playing the sport we love. She has been instrumental in ensuring members remain engaged and communicated with. She has emailed, phoned, video called, sorted bubbles, liased with our venue, bought more equipment, sorted trials, organised events and washed many bibs and managed all this with good humour and a smile. Faye’s knowledge and confidence in risk assessments has given club members huge reassurance in returning to court. She has been proactively looking for ideas to build team relationships, especially where teams had new members, juniors moving up and new combinations of players. For us she has been the Club Secretary of the year and our Lockdown Hero.”

Hazel Hucker

Hazel was instrumental in ensuring clubs were ready to retake to the court as lockdown lifted. I am sure at times it felt like a mountain to climb to get coaches, volunteers, club members and parents all ready to restart. However, Hazel used every social media and method of communication to get the club playing netball again. We have a new venue, newly painted court markings, new posts, new balls and bibs, all the necessary signs and sanitisation equipment required as well as all the paperwork in order and this is all down to Hazel’s commitment through lockdown not to give up. Hazel is her name, but Netball is her game.”

Hollie Wright

“Hollie’s positivity has ensured the continued engagement of many players and officials. Providing playing opportunities whenever possible and encouraging coaches, assistants and volunteers to maintain their involvement. She facilitated the resumption of YJNC junior training in April being lead coach and continuing with it throughout the summer. She has also engaged the interest of new players by setting up Bee Netball sessions from August onwards. Hollie has kept everyone up to date, provided COVID-19 kit bags for the club and was always available to answer any questions.”

Dorset

Kelly Browne

Kelly has been there for us all from our league members to our junior members, we are extremely lucky to have her. With her endless energy and enthusiasm, she kept in touch with the girls giving them ideas about how to keep fit and active, but without undue pressure if they couldn’t engage. At the start of COVID-19, Kelly set up Zoom training sessions for members who had been struggling with having to do their schooling from home. She organised outside training sessions come rain, wind or sun for the 85 juniors/seniors from the club as soon as it was possible. Kelly was there to help get the league up and running again helping with any queries and worries anyone had and made sure that players felt safe returning to court. She was excellent at keeping us up to date and always having time for us all. You really couldn’t find a better example of someone who, week in week out, turns up and gives her time and energy. She is an inspiration to all.”

Anna Coombes

“Anna has worked tirelessly since the lockdown started to ensure the girls at the club stayed focused and fit throughout. In such an important season for the girls, Anna has managed to keep the team on track and ready to step back into netball as and when the regulations allowed. As well as keeping on top of all the COVID-19 guidance, Anna organised regular training, fitness in the park, friendly matches, video analysis sessions, guest coaches, masterclasses with both netball and basketball stars and even managed, with the help of Joss Brown, to secure a new training venue and kit for the girls. As anyone who runs a netball club will know it is not an easy task, even without COVID-19 to contend with, and in a difficult year when the girls could easily have lost their enthusiasm for the sport, Anna has been at the helm making sure that did not happen. The players have gone from strength to strength because of Anna and are hoping they get the opportunity to show this on the court very soon.”

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 Coordinator (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)