Former England School's Coach and England Selector Sheila Perks wins prestigious prize at Sports Coach UK Awards.
There was yet more netball success at the Sports Coach UK awards in London on Tuesday night as Sheila Perks MBE was awarded for her incredible services to the sport with the Lifetime Achievement award. The evergreen Sheila has been an integral part of the game for over 60 years and her relentless drive and passion has seen her make a notable difference from local communities all the way up to national level.
Sheila is a netball legend in the West Midlands, largely thanks to the amount of time she has put in to coaching the sport. Generations of players have benefitted from her dedication, whether it is for the pure enjoyment of playing, or realising their potential to compete at the highest level of the game. One of the players that have previously been taken under Sheila’s coaching wing is current England international Stacey Francis.
England Netball president, Janet Wrighton expressed her delight with the award, she said “I have known Sheila since my early playing days. I have never met anyone with such a passion and enthusiasm for encouraging players to reach their potential. Sheila is selfless and whatever she has achieved she always credits other people for it.
“She has encouraged players to strive for ‘excellence’ in every sense of the word. She is someone who starts off as a colleague and soon becomes a very loyal friend. I have nothing but respect and admiration for this exceptional lady.”
England international Stacey Francis added, "I cannot think of a more deserving person to win the Lifetime Achievement Award than Sheila Perks. I am so pleased to hear that she has been honoured as there is no doubt in my mind that without her support and knowledge I would not be playing for England today. Sheila was my first netball coach at the age of 13 and someone who has continued to support me throughout my netball career up until this day. Although I know she does not participate in netball so passionately for the accolades, this award that she has received is a testament to her passion and unwavering support of any netballers development. Congratulations Sheila!!"
Much of her time has been dedicated to netball at schools, youth clubs, county and regional level. Apart from when she taught games at school, this has all been as a volunteer. Sheila has also been a West Midlands and England Selector. She is the ultimate netball volunteer. Sheila is no stranger to this ceremony, having won the Community Coach of the Year Award in 2009. In a remarkable year for Sheila she was also named the BBC Sports Unsung Hero for the West Midlands and in the same year she was awarded her MBE for services to netball.