Gilbert Grassroots Official Award

Bernadette Palmer (East)

Bernadette has shown immense commitment to supporting learner umpires to progress their officiating aspirations. Currently supporting learner umpires to progress their officiating aspirations at ‘C’, ‘B’, and ‘A’ level. She has also visited Dubai on several occasions to tutor umpiring courses and assess umpires in that country.

Patricia Codner (East Midlands)

Patricia is active as an official in the Notts NUSA league and at regional league level. Patricia also actively supports club and local league umpires as a mentor and assessor on a regular basis. Patricia is reliable, competent and has an unfailing commitment to netball officiating.

Elzaan (Elz) Eve (London and South East)

Elz is the Umpiring Secretary for Cumberland Netball club; Cumberland have 15 umpires of whom she is responsible for in allocation and overseeing their development. Elz goes above and beyond to help others, helping other clubs who are struggling to find umpires by sharing her umpire’s availability.

Debbie Ashworth (South West) – WINNER

Debbie has supported and developed over 50 new umpires in Cornwall from juniors to seniors. Her mentoring commitments to them are endless – giving her evenings, including weekends, during the season to offer her support. Debbie has moved officiating in Cornwall to having not enough umpires for the games to now finding there is not enough top level netball being played for her extensive base of umpires.

Sue Richards (West Midlands)

Sue has been pivotal in the creation and implementation of the new Shropshire Umpire Mentor scheme. She has established a core of 4 umpires with a common agreed vision to ensure umpiring moves forward by consistent mentoring of those up and coming. Sue also regularly volunteers at National events often as a table official at International matches.


Iain Smith (Yorkshire)

Iain supports officials by offering advice, mentoring and other various support at Reckitts and Humberside. He regularly gives up his time to umpire at higher level netball matches and leagues such as Hull University 1st and 2nd teams. Iain offers positive encouragement for umpires to take the next level of qualification.

Paula Burke (North West)

Paula has started a club based umpiring development programme to ensure the training of members to get qualified as soon as possible at Beechwood Netball thus ensuring over 24 members have completed their Beginners Umpiring Course. Her programme focuses on testing fitness, vocal work, and hand signals with an emphasis on co-coaching where members help each other.

Jo Davies (South)

Jo manages all the umpires at Abbey Netball Club. She is selfless in the time and effort she has given to umpiring netball over the years. She tirelessly supports the Umpiring Academy in order to support those who are starting out, offering encouragement and advice.