Today (20/05/21), we celebrate the birthday of Laura Malcolm as the Vitality Rose turns 30!
The past year has been immensely challenging for netball players across the country, but it hasn’t hampered Laura’s progress in red dress.
Having made her debut against Barbados in 2012, the Manchester Thunder star has accumulated 31 caps competing against the world’s best teams and featuring at two Netball Europe competitions
However, under Jess Thirlby’s management, she has firmly established herself as an integral part of the England squad.
Laura’s skill and versatility across the midcourt have been qualities that the Vitality Roses Head Coach has sought to harness since her appointment in July 2019.
And the 30-year-old’s influence within the team has also extended to a leadership capacity.
She was named vice-captain for Thirlby’s first test series in South Africa and was handed the same responsibility for the Vitality Netball Nations Cup in January 2020.
The sport was halted by the pandemic a couple of months later but when international netball returned later in the year, Laura earned a promotion.
She was elevated from vice-captain to co-captain for the Cadbury Netball Series in New Zealand and impressed with her performances at wing-attack having also shone at centre and wing-defence during her career.
When @ljmalcolm1 met Jean Hornsby 👥
💬 The Vitality Rose spoke to Jean, the first Black England netball player, about her journey, experiences as part of the Netball Family and the cup being named in her honour.
Watch the full feature on YouTube ⬇️
— England Netball (at 🏡) (@EnglandNetball) January 22, 2021
Laura is now a respected and influential athlete at the elite level, co-captaining England squads featuring netball legends such as Jade Clarke.
It’s a remarkable journey as Jade was one of her biggest inspirations.
“I idolised a lot of netballers to be honest. As I got a bit older and started taking my netball more seriously, Jade Clarke and Sara Bayman became real netball idols of mine,” she revealed.
“Not just because of their amazing ability on court but because of the people they are. Sara knows everything about netball and I love having deep discussions with her. She has always supported me with my netball journey and it’s the same with Jade.
“They’ve been very supportive of me and are also just the nicest people in the world. They’re amazing players and amazing people.”
Having reached this point in her career, Laura’s keen to take the next step and emulate Jade by appearing at major international tournaments.
And with the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town rapidly approaching, she has the opportunity to fulfil that goal.
“With my playing career, I want to make sure I get myself to a Commonwealth Games, a World Cup,” Laura said.
“Obviously, being a Midlands girl, I’d love to be playing in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. That would be a real pinnacle of my career if I could get myself there.”
A Commonwealth Games medal would certainly sit nicely alongside her three Vitality Netball Superleague titles achieved with Thunder and we can’t wait to see how she performs over the next year ahead of the big event in Birmingham!