So what is Performance
It sounds like an obvious question, with an easy answer. Have you actually thought of the extent of the areas that Performance might cover?
Given the profile and coverage the England Team receive every time they play International Matches, it would be easy to think that Performance only deals with the England Team. That team, and the success that the squad of talented athletes achieve is of course the ultimate objective, and there is no hiding place! Success or failure in Commonwealth Games or World Championships is a pretty public achievement these days, so everyone gets to know!
It is important to remember some key facts about Netball at International level:
- The athletes all have to either work for a living, or combine training with university study. England Netball is indebted to many employers who support the athletes through extra time off work to enable them to compete, train or tour.
- Work commitments mean that the athletes need to fit training into weekends, evenings and holiday times. The pressures on National Squad members now with work, Superleague commitments, off court and on-court training, means that it is a full time commitment.
- England Netball couldn't achieve the success we have on our own! We rely on strong partnerships with Sport England (who grant aid significantly), The English Institute of Sport (EIS) who provide specialist support services to our athletes on a day by day basis, UKSport, and our sponsors.
- Our major competitors currently are a long flight away! The top 2 in the world (New Zealand and Australia currently) are 24 hours travel, whilst Jamaica are our closest near rival - and that can take 8 hours to get there! That makes the international competition element very expensive.
- England Netball puts a team into the Annual Netball Europe Championships, but in recent times we have put forward our U21 Team (or similar) to compete at this level. This approach ensures a close competition at the event, and great development opportunities for those developing English players.
The Excel Programme encompasses the England U17 and U19 programmes, leading to representative teams at the Annual Netball Europe Junior Championships. This programme, which has been well established over the last few years, has demonstrated success through the progression of many athletes to U21 and Senior International status.
In delivering all of the above programmes, and supporting the Regional Excel Development Programmes that under-pin them the Directorate relies upon a great many dedicated staff and volunteers. Many staff work on a part-time basis, and combine their roles with England Netball with careers else where.
Key staff members are:
England Netball Head Coach
England Netball Squad Physiotherapist
England Netball Squad Doctor
England Senior Coach
England U21 Head Coach
National Excel Coach
The Hitchin head office team:
Head of Performance
Performance Programme Co-ordinator
Performance Pathway Manager
Jan Crabtree Katie Baldwin
National Excel Head Coach
Performance Pathway Co-ordinator