Black History Month: Jewel Uchegbu and Janet Hills

Throughout October, we will be sharing video messages and written stories from a range of Black members of the Netball Family, to celebrate what Black History Month means to them and their work within netball.

Jewel Uchegbu’s netball journey started in primary school and has continued ever since with her currently working as a Netball Development Community Coach for England Netball.

Here she shares what Black History Month means to her, why it’s important that England Netball recognises Black History Month and her love of being involved in netball.

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“Black History Month is so important as we need to learn and celebrate our Black history and culture.

“I think it’s so important for the sport to recognise this so we can educate our young people and Netball Family, and embrace the role models that we have within the sport.

“Netball is my passion, inspires and motivates me, and has made me the person I am today.

“I have had so many great opportunities and met so many amazing people, especially my Netball Family.”

Another member of the Netball Family who has been involved with netball since they were at school is Janet Hills.

Janet has played for various clubs, mainly within Surrey, and also played for her work team at a national level in the Police Sport UK Netball Tournament.

She passed her Level 2 coaching qualification in 2009 and has coached at a number of clubs over the years. She has been Head Coach at Swanley for the last five years.

Here she shares what Black History Month means to her, why it’s important that England Netball recognises Black History Month and her love of being involved in netball.

“What Black History Month means to me is that we’re able to shine a spotlight on the month of October to celebrate Black culture and its contribution to the UK, recognising those that have gone before and those that are here now who will pave the way for the future.

“It’s important for England Netball to celebrate Black History Month so that we can be truly reflective of the communities that make up this great sport and their contributions to it.

“What netball means to me is that we’re able to showcase our talent and the excellence of women in sport.

“What I love about netball is regardless of a person’s creed or colour, it’s inclusive to all.”

From coaching to officiating and volunteering, you can get involved with netball in a variety of ways other than playing, which you can read about more here.

Keep an eye out on our social media channels to see and hear more from a range of Black members of the Netball Family over the coming weeks.

Read the previous Black History Month articles featuring reflections from youth netballer Ebiso Whyte and Vitality Rose Jodie Gibson, as well as Walking Netball Host Jenny Thomas, Vice Chair of the London and South East region Marlene Wander, Roses Future Halimat Adio and CEO of The Power of Staff Networks Cherron Inko-Tarriah.

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