There was more good news for England Netball at another awards ceremony yesterday evening as Pip Cross won the Coach/Mentor of the Year Award at the Sports Officials UK Awards.
Pip has achieved so much within the umpiring world, having focused on the Youth Umpires and development from Grade C to Grade B level. She has assessed Youth Umpires this season and provided support and advice to those who have not passed.
The official based in the Isle of Man has also mentored and developed both senior and junior umpires within her club. Pip has arranged with England Netball to bring over Grade B umpires in order to provide more mentoring and feedback to progressing umpires and offer local umpires an environment in which to learn, which is difficult on the island.
Pip is keen for the Island to become self-sufficient and as such has helped mentor five grade C to grade B umpires, all of whom have now passed their B award. This is a phenomenal achievement for such a small island with limited resources. This will help reduce costs in the future in bringing over B award umpires to the International Festival.
Speaking of her success, Pip said “I’m overwhelmed by it all to be honest. First winning the regional Goalden Globe Award, then the National award and now this! It’s lovely just to be nominated, I’m shocked and overwhelmed but it is fantastic that officiating is being recognised.
“It means a lot for us on the island, we’ve got a thriving association and league on the Isle of Man and we have to compete with a lot of different sports that have fantastic facilities. We’ve done so well with netball and the officials have played a big part in that.
“We have gone from strength to strength in the last few years; we used to give people a whistle and send them out of court even though they weren’t very keen, now we have people approaching us asking to be trained up! I would like to say a big thank you to Claire Belcher-Smith, and Mary Slade from the North-West for all of their support.”
She has identified that in order for the quality of play to improve on the Island, the quality of umpiring to needs to improve and she is doing everything in her power to ensure that this happens. Pip has been very successful for a long period of time with limited resources and backup and is very deserving of this award.
Having won the North West Regional Goalden Globe for her services to Grassroots Officiating and Pip was also awarded the National Grassroots Officials Award at the Goalden Globe Awards in September. England Netball would like to congratulate Pip on her fantastic achievement.