UK Coaching has announced the shortlist for its annual UK Coaching Awards and named Tracey Neville; Head Coach of the Vitality Roses, and Danielle Lewis-Collins; an England Netball children’s coach, as finalists in the prestigious awards.
Tracey Neville MBE led the Vitality Roses to their historic win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.
Following the team’s success at the Gold Coast, Tracey has been named as a finalist in the High Performance Coach of the Year Award, as well as the Great Coaching Moment of the Year category alongside Gareth Southgate for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Coaches of Old Otliensians RUFC for the 2018 RFU Junior Vase.
An esteemed judging panel deliberated over a record amount of nominations to select the finalists of each category for the annual UK Coaching Awards, which will be held at the HAC in London on 29 November.
Tracey said: “I am absolutely honored to be shortlisted along with very experienced coaches. Coaching is now more than a job but a way of life for me, it has grown me as a person and given me once in a lifetime experiences. Coaching challenges me on a daily basis to be better than myself and support a talented group of athletes and staff who strive to be world class.”
Following England’s last gasp goal in the final of the Commonwealth Games against home favourites Australia, the Vitality Roses moved to second in the International Netball Federation World Rankings – their highest position to date and the first time the two top spots on the international ladder haven’t been occupied by Australia and New Zealand since the introduction of the system in 2008.
Tracey added: “When you talk about achieving your dreams, the Commonwealth Games was where my dream was made. The minute the shot went in it felt like the beginning of a glorious journey for the Roses and a long time coming.”
Danielle Lewis-Collins, from Brighton, Sussex, has been shortlisted for the Children’s Coach of the Year Award, which acknowledges her commitment to coaching young people.
Danielle took her first steps into coaching eight years ago as an Assistant Coach within Sussex Satellite Academy. In 2013, she made the leap into full time coaching, working with young players at Brighton College and completing her level 2 coaching qualification. In 2014, she set up 5Ways Netball Club to give young girls more opportunities to play netball, and now works with over 250 young players at the club whilst completing her level 3 qualification.
Danielle said: “I never had any ambitions to become a full-time coach but once I’d delivered a few sessions and seen the positive impact of participation amongst the players, I caught the bug and haven’t been able to stop since. Netball, as both a player and coach, has given me so many opportunities and helped to build my confidence, which just makes me even more determined to get more young girls involved in netball and to show them how powerful sport can be.
“Just to be nominated for this award, let alone shortlisted for my coaching is an honour. I do it because I love it, but ultimately it’s all about the kids, getting them active and with any luck, just as addicted to netball as I am!
“I would just like to take this opportunity to thank England Netball and everyone else who has supported me on this journey. Through England Netball I have been able to attend masterclasses, received great ideas from their coaching blogs and met some fabulous other coaches through attending coaching courses and online forums.
“It’s great to see where the sport is going, England Netball are making it far more accessible which can only be a positive thing for netball and for coaches everywhere.”
CEO of England Netball, Joanna Adams, said: “I am so pleased that both Tracey and Danielle are being recognised for their fantastic contributions to this sport. The winning goal for the Roses at the Commonwealth Games was an emotional moment for all of us and it’s clear how much it meant to Tracey after all of her hard work, she thoroughly deserves these awards.
“Danielle is key in helping to encourage the next generation to take up our wonderful sport, she has dedicated her time to promoting netball and continues to show young people how rewarding it can be. I’d like to wish both Danielle and Tracey the best of luck at the UK Coaching Awards ceremony.”