Harrod UK Unsung Hero Award

Gill Knibbs (East)

As a qualified teacher, Gill is always ready to support younger players in pursuit of umpiring and coaching qualifications. Gill also delivers training for primary school teachers who need to learn/improve on their umpiring and coaching skills. Gill has coached with Abbey Flyers Netball Club since it was founded 10 years ago. Gill has been involved in netball for over 40 years as a player, coach, umpire and mentor. In her involvement with Abbey Flyers Netball Club, she has ensured players join the netball family.

Jeannette Clark (East Midlands)

Jeannette is the main contact for all members at Hucknall Town Netball Club and regularly emails them with updates and news. Jeannette has a number of roles within the club, all of which encourage others to get involved and she is a perfect role model for everyone at the club.  She is an approachable confidante for members and their families/carers and has many a time over the years taken time to just sit and listen. Jeanette was awarded the Active Ashfield Sports Volunteer Award in 2013 to recognise the extent of her volunteering achievements.

Eileen Brandrick (London and South East)

Eileen has devoted 27 years of voluntary commitment to supporting netball and encouraging growth through her club. She has supported members of all ages, and parents wishing to assist, in running, umpiring, coaching and developing the club to ensure the Club’s future. She has ensured the club has an “open door” policy which has led to the growth of the clubs junior section, which started with 5 girls. The U14s now boast 60 girls with 25 players at U18s. She also got together a group of players to start summer evening Walking Netball.

Clare Nicholls (London and South East)

Clare has been involved in netball in the community for over 20 years. During her time at Hillcrest, Clare has held a number of roles and at present is the Club president. Clare is constantly looking to help expand the club and introduced the Jack Petchy award to the club a number of years ago. This has helped to raise funds to enable to club to grow and support its players. As a player herself, Clare is keen to give as many people as possible the chance to play netball and this led her to set up Hillcrest Uni(ted), which allows uni players to stay connected when they return home.

Sarah Croft (North East) – WINNER

Sarah is fantastic at encouraging people to come along and have a go whether that is at junior level, Back to Netball or volunteering at events. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer to netball not only in the North East but across the country. Sarah’s approachable nature has most certainly been a key factor in the retention rate of participants at Back to Netball but also at Concordia seniors and juniors. Since starting the junior section of Concordia the session has gone from strength to strength and the girls are now accessing weekly training as well as playing in the county league.

Jackie Tresidder (South West)

Jackie has dedicated 40 years of her life to volunteering for Netball in Cornwall. Along with being Club Coach at Penryn for 20 years in her 40 year netball career Jackie has coached Cornwall Netball youth teams, Penryn Junior & a number of local schools as well as being a qualified umpire. Jackie has been involved in Primary school sessions at Falmouth school, the transition from junior to senior school and integrating students from all areas of Falmouth.

Lynda Manson (West Midlands)

As Lynda is so highly respected in Shropshire Netball many other coaches, players and committee members often look to Lynda for advice. Lynda currently coaches the U-14 and senior teams so is at the sports village from 6 -10pm every Thursday. She also manages the U-14 team that qualified for the regional league and the senior team who have represented Shropshire in the regional league since it began. Lynda is a reliable and dedicated volunteer, giving up a huge amount of time each week to ensure girls and ladies can play netball safely.

Kate Vivian (Yorkshire)

Kate has been involved in netball for over 45 years, she started as a player and has since developed her skills vastly in setting up netball clubs, developing and strengthening them and increasing the number of players, coaches, umpires and volunteers involved in them. Since her move up to Sheffield, Kate has supported a vast number of clubs including Sheffield Concord, Barnsley Aces, Doncaster Dome, before setting up her club which is Sheffield Stormers.  Kate has also worked alongside the South Yorkshire Academy developing the highest standard of players in South Yorkshire to be their best, whilst in this programme she has also supported the mentoring of other newly qualified coaches. Kate has a passion to make netball a sport for everyone.

Marie Skillicorn (North West)

Marie is always there whenever anyone needs support or help with netball – always working hard behind the scenes. Marie has the desire and ability to encourage others to join the netball family through her strong managerial, organisational and planning capability.  Marie has a massive presence on the court, and during coaching sessions. She never fails to deliver on promises.

Laura Hextall (nee Taylor) (South)

Laura supports all 14 junior clubs on Sunday mornings for the league matches. Without Laura on a Sunday morning supporting the management of Central Venue, the Junior League wouldn’t function, which involves 800 players. Since Laura started to support at Central Venue, the participation of junior netball in Oxfordshire has increased by 17% and is continuing to increase.