England Netball are delighted to announce that Kathryn Ratnapala has been appointed as Future Roses Head Coach, a part-time role which she starts with immediate effect.
Kathryn has had an illustrious career within the field of high-performance netball, playing a key role within both the Vitality Netball Superleague and the Vitality Roses programme. She has previously worked within the Roses programme in a variety of key roles including Assistant Coach and Technical Coach to the Vitality Roses. Additionally, she has led the Vitality Roses in their tour of New Zealand in 2020, while current Head Coach Jess Thirlby was unavailable due to Covid. Currently Kathryn is a Senior National Selector for the Vitality Roses.
Kathryn has also been an influential figure within developing talent in the Vitality Netball Superleague. Previously Surrey Storm Head Coach, Kathryn has been at the helm of VNSL franchise Saracens Mavericks as Director of Netball and VNSL Head Coach from 2016 season through to the end of the 2022 season.
The newly designed Future Roses Programme is an integral part of the Vitality Roses setup. It is designed to support, enable and create ‘Roses Ready’ athletes in the pathway to be elevated to the Roses full time programme and to increase the probability of sustained success on the world stage, with a view to readying talent for the 2026 Commonwealth Games and 2027 Netball World Cup. 16 athletes have been selected for the programme which begins in August and will feature a combination of tailored training camps, competitive opportunities and support for athletes in their Vitality Netball Superleague team environments.
Ratnapala is looking forward to the new challenge ahead:
“This is an extremely exciting opportunity to work with a fantastic cohort of young and driven athletes to develop their talent and ensure the continued legacy of Roses success on the international stage.”
“The Future Roses programme will prepare these athletes for the specific rigors of international netball, developing the technical and tactical skills, the physical robustness and the psychological edge of our young athletes, to ensure that they are ‘Roses ready’ to be elevated to the full-time programme and compete as a world-class athlete.” Ratnapala added.
“I am delighted to be involved in developing the next generation of Roses and looking forward to getting started, helping to build well-rounded, international stage ready athletes.”
Director of Performance David Parsons boasted of his new appointments’ rich history in developing international athletes:
“To be able to appoint someone of Kathryn’s experience, in both domestic and international environments, is a privilege. Kathryn has a proven record of developing athletes’ skills and has a strong commitment to the ethos of the Future Roses Programme. She will play a key role in identifying and preparing athletes that can be a part of the Roses journey towards the Commonwealth Games and World Cup beyond next summer”.
In addition to the Future Roses, the Roses Pathway, overseen by Sheonah Forbes, also features the Roses Academy for younger athletes and Kathryn Ratnapala will be joined by the following new appointments:
Amy Harmer – Roses Pathway Physiotherapist
Matt Griffiths – Roses Pathway Performance Analyst
Rich Lalor – Roses Pathway Strength and Conditioning Coach
Leah Setsoafia – Roses Academy Assistant Coach