Chelsea Pitman Announces Her Retirement from International Netball

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 06: Chelsea Pitman of England thanks the crowd after winning the Netball Preliminary Round Pool B match between Malawi and England on day two of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 6, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Vitality Rose’ Chelsea Pitman has decided to retire from international netball.

The 35-year-old, who has made more than 50 appearances for England played her final match in Cape Town in the Vitality Roses’ first-ever Netball World Cup final. 

Over the past six years, Pitman has played in two World Cups, winning bronze in 2019 and most recently, silver in 2023. In 2018, she helped England to a historic gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.  

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Reflecting on her England career, Chelsea Pitman said: “I have made the extremely tough decision to retire from international netball. I never thought I’d be someone who chose to retire from the international stage, but it’s the right time for me.  

“I look at my time as a Rose, and every other opportunity I’ve had to step out on the international stage as a netballer, and it has been the best time of my life. What an epic journey. What a rollercoaster and I wouldn’t change a single thing. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be able to call myself a Rose, for saying ‘yes, put me up for selection!’ because if I didn’t do that, how boring my life would have been. Because I have made the best of friends, and I have made and created history. We achieved things that people thought were impossible for us. 

“I am incredibly grateful, thankful and absolutely honoured to call myself a Rose and to have been able to have the opportunity to be part of the squad for the year coming up but, I haven’t been secretive with saying that I’ve tried to become a mum in the past and that I’ve had issues, and I think it’s time that I delve a bit deeper into why my body failed me when it comes to that. I’m going to miss it, but you’ll still see me. I love you all.” 

Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby added: “I would firstly like to say what an absolute pleasure it has been to work with Chelsea over the past few years. She has not only inspired so many with her on court flair, netball nouse and competitive spirit, but I have such admiration and respect for her as a person. Chelsea wears her heart on her sleeve and her passion for the Roses and commitment to pull on the red dress is unquestionable. It not only means a lot to her, but we have been richer for having her as a Rose. Whilst it’s sad to lose Chelsea, she is so deserving of our full support as she looks to the future and we wish her all the very best.” 

Pitman began her international career with the Australian Diamonds in 2011 where she lifted the Netball World Cup in Singapore. In 2017, Chelsea made the decision to switch to represent the Vitality Roses through the heritage of her father from Shaftesbury, Dorset.  

As well as being a four-time international medallist, Pitman has won an ANZ Premiership with Queensland Firebirds, a Suncorp Super Netball title with West Coast Fever and, in 2023, she helped London Pulse to their first Grand Final in the Netball Super League.  

Thank you, Chelsea, from everyone within the Netball Family. 

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