Joan Mills and Gordon Padley receive World Netball Service Awards

Joan Mills on stage at Congress after receiving her World Netball Service Award. Credit: World Netball

England Netball President Joan Mills and former Treasurer of the All England Netball Association Gordon Padley have received World Netball (WN) Service Awards at the international federation’s Congress.

WN Service Awards are awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of netball internationally.

Joan was in Cape Town to accept her award in person and Gordon’s on his behalf. He will be presented with his in person at the England Netball ONE Awards later this year.

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Joan’s contribution as a volunteer to netball has been significant at the local, county, regional and national levels. In 1985, Joan received the prestigious Torch Trust Trophy, a national award for volunteers in Sport at that time.

Joan was Joint Head of Support Services when England hosted the Netball World Championships in 1995, giving her her first “taste and thirst” for involvement in international netball. In 1996 she was Head of Delegation for England at the World Netball Youth Championships in Toronto, at the Netball World Championships in New Zealand in 1999 and at the INF Congress in Singapore in 2001. In the same year, Joan also took on the role of England Team Manager.

Such is Joan’s technical ability, she was appointed Netball Competition Manager at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, as well as International Technical Delegate for the World Youth Championships in Glasgow in 2013. She was appointed by World Netball as Technical Delegate for the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 and again for the Netball World Cup in Liverpool 2019. Joan supported WN in the recruitment and induction of Ian Holloway as Technical Delegate for the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022.

Joan has contributed to the development of England Netball’s historical archive and she leads the EN Roses supporters club. She is an Honorary Life Member of England Netball, a Europe Netball Service Award Holder and was inducted into England Netball’s Hall of Fame in 2014. Additionally, Joan was awarded the MBE in 2016 for her outstanding contribution to netball.

Gordon has a long history with local, regional, national and international netball. He is a keen supporter of grassroots netball and in 1974 was the founder of Sheffield Concord Netball Club, which remains a thriving club to this day.

His work as a volunteer has been phenomenal as an active umpire and as an administrator, specialising in Finance and Accounts. In 1977 he was appointed as the Treasurer of the All England Netball Association and held the role until 2004. During this time, netball saw many changes and thanks to his professional experience and expertise, Gordon was able to steer the AENA with his sound knowledge of finance and law.

Gordon was instrumental in establishing the AENA Youth Trust in 1984, which benefitted many young netballers, including National players, to further their netball opportunities.

In addition to being a volunteer administrator, Gordon found time to become England’s first male A Award umpire, working at County level. For many years, he organised the Annual National Umpiring Conference for the top umpires in England.

Gordon was the AENA’s Finance Director when England hosted the World Netball Championships in Birmingham, 1995.

Gordon’s expertise was called upon by World Netball in 2003 to support the establishment of World Netball’s Audit and Finance Committee, helping to write the committee’s Terms of Reference and serving as member of the committee. He played a pivotal role at World Netball until 2015 completing three full terms of four years, ensuring that the financial procedures of the organisation were effective and in the best interests of the World Netball’s Members. He led the development of many policies for World Netball including our first codes of conduct, whistle blower policy, safeguarding guidelines and equality and diversity policy.

Gordon was awarded Honorary Life Membership in 1989 for his service to England Netball, as well as the MBE for services to netball. In 2005 he was inducted into England Netball’s Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to both Joan and Gordon from everyone at England Netball and thank you for your ongoing dedication and support for netball!

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