Marion entered our 2019 Coaching Week competition and won a place at our Make the Game LIVErpool Coaching Conference alongside the Vitality Netball World Cup! Hear about her coaching journey to date and how attending the conference filled her with enthusiasm and inspiration for the season ahead…

“In many ways my route back into netball coaching may seem a bit strange. I was a very regular player at Club, schoolgirl County (Durham) , university, Scottish and British Universities and then at Club and County in Oxfordshire until the age of 35 when with 2 kids under the age of 3, I moved back to the north east. As a result I lost my netball family who would’ve nagged me back into playing and so for the next 25 years I had nothing to do with netball at all. At the age of 60 I got tempted Back to Netball at Coxhoe Crusaders by a friend who convinced me I wasn’t too old. This was just over 4 years ago when my love for my number 1 game re-emerged and so I started playing again; very much the oldest in the club but no one knew (then) and no one cared.

“Since then I have become a Walking Netball Host, completed my Level 1 coaching award last year and then my Level 2 earlier this year, (probably 20 years after I should’ve done!) and now am Assistant Coach at my Club and lead Walking Netball Host.

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“There are enormous benefits for me from this participation in my retirement, physically, fitness, socially, self-esteem and well-being, and also for all the players of so many different ages and abilities who I coach and play alongside.

“We have been to Superleague matches and obviously attended the World Cup in Liverpool but we go out for lunch and to the pub or just for a cuppa and cake afterwards on a regular basis.

“I’d seen the Make the Game Conference and thought £130 was just too much for me to justify paying and then I saw the England Netball Coaching competition and thought I’d have a go. The video I sent in was of my Walking Netballers doing the Cut the Cake Challenge as we call it with the challenge being in how many balls we can keep going and for how long. These ladies (aged 40 to 70+) are up for any challenge , will have a go at anything I set them to do and we all love it. So when I won the place at Conference they were delighted they’d played their part.

How did I feel about being among so many eminent netball people?

Proud but also grateful for the opportunity.

What did I learn at the Conference?

Well how long is a piece of string? There was SO much, it was SO interesting and inspiring, and I’m still ploughing through all the notes and the videos and the photographs. But I have started my new plays book (Karen Grieg) and my activities file and I have put into practice many little bits that you pick up just being there. My 6 sets of bibs are on the washing line as I write this for as Mel Mansfield of Wasps stated – one sign of a good coach is clean bibs!

I loved Decisions! Decisions! With Denise and Anita and have already set the players more problems for them to solve rather than me providing them with answers.

So did I enjoy it?

Oh yes! Did I benefit from it? I hope so and that the results will show next league. Am I up for the challenge of 16 new members arriving at Club taster sessions as a result of the World Cup? Absolutely!

“Here’s to the next 20 years of netball – did you not know? 60 is the new 40 so I’m really only 45 this September – and yes we’ll all celebrate it together as a fabulous netball family does!”

Thank you so much to Marion for taking the time to share her story with us!

Are you feeling inspired to get involved in coaching or take your next steps? Take a look at our Netball Finder for upcoming Coach Development Opportunities and courses

Happy Coaching! :)

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