Serena Guthrie (Getty Images)

Serena Guthrie lifts the Taini Jamison Trophy (Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Serena Guthrie, Vitality Roses captain and Team Bath player, has today announced the exciting news that she is expecting her first baby with her partner Bob Kersten. 

The news means that she will not be available for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer, nor take to court for Team Bath during their 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign. 

Guthrie, 32, has also made the decision to retire from international and elite domestic netball as she looks ahead to a new chapter after an illustrious career on court. 

Widely regarded as one of the greatest mid-court players in the game, achieving the first of 110 senior England caps aged just 18, she has since played a pivotal role in three Vitality Netball World Cups (2011, 2015 and 2019) and two Commonwealth Games (2014 and 2018). 

She was part of the Vitality Roses squad in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, helping the team secure the record-breaking gold medal against Australia on the Gold Coast, with the iconic victory changing the face of the sport forever in England. 

The talismanic player has captained her country 28 times, including during the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool in 2019, delighting fans from across the world of netball with her fearless leadership and dynamic play. 

She has played for Vitality Netball Superleague side Team Bath for two separate periods during her career, the first in 2006-07 winning the Superleague title in her very first season with the west country blue and golds.  She took a break from UK domestic netball in 2014 to travel to New Zealand to play for the Northern Mystics until 2017 when she moved to Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball League to play for Giants Netball for two seasons, returning home to Team Bath in 2019 where she will finish her impressive domestic career. 

Serena was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to netball. 

She shared her happy news with the Vitality Roses and Team Bath squads and staff earlier this week and will continue to be supported by medical staff and performance teams in the coming months as she prepares for her next chapter. 

Serena Guthrie, MBE, Vitality Roses and Team Bath legend, said: “Bob and I are thrilled to be expecting our first child together.  Being a mum is an amazing new chapter in my life and I’m really excited about what that’s going to bring to me.  

“I cannot wait to be part of the Netball Family willing on the Vitality Roses in the Commonwealth Games this summer in Birmingham and being the biggest cheerleader for Team Bath for the rest of the Vitality Netball Superleague season.  

“It’s been an absolute pleasure and honour to have been able to play netball domestically and internationally for so long, working and playing alongside the most incredible group of athletes and staff along the way.  It’s been a real privilege to be the Vitality Roses captain for as long as I have and want to thank everyone for their support in helping to make my journey in netball so special.” 

Jess Thirlby, Vitality Roses Head Coach, said: “I’m overjoyed for both Serena, Bob and their families at the news of Serena’s pregnancy. There is nothing more important in life than life itself and to be fortunate enough to begin the journey of parenthood is always such a special moment. Serena has long been a part of her own Vitality Roses family and has led them as captain in her own maternal way, invested in each and every person and wanting the best for them and out of them. 

“As Serena embarks on the next chapter of her life she leaves her DNA across this exciting Vitality Roses team and in her own, very special way has helped to ready the team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.  

“Not only is Serena one of the most well-respected netballers across the global landscape but she is much loved by the fans and her teammates and it has always been her character, charisma and free spirited outlook on life that has translated onto the court in how she performs which has drawn so many people into the game.  

“Serena is the ultimate team player, always putting the needs of the team above herself. Whilst we will miss her hugely it is a time to celebrate all that Serena has contributed not only to the Vitality Roses but to the sport overall. Her legacy will continue to live on in generations of players to come, such is the impact she has had on and beyond the court. 

“This Vitality Roses team, players and staff are buoyed by Serena’s news and it will inspire us all to continue to prepare meticulously for Birmingham and make the nation proud.” 

David Parsons, England Netball Performance Director, said: “Serena’s impact on the sport has been immense both on and off the court.  The sheer longevity of her international career, the number of international caps she has been awarded, and her involvement in so many of the highs that the Vitality Roses have experienced in recent years, including the successful 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, is impressive enough in itself. 

“But that alone doesn’t do justice to the unique impact that Serena has had and the outstanding legacy that she will leave in the dressing room, on the court and on the lives of so many that have been inspired by her leadership, by her passion and by her performances. 

“As a sport we will forever be grateful to Serena for being such a wonderful ambassador and role model, and we wish her every happiness in this exciting next stage of her life.” 

Fran Connolly, Chief Executive of England Netball, said: “Everyone at England Netball is thrilled for Serena on the news she is expecting her first baby. 

“Her leadership on and beyond the court, her talent and passionate playing style, and her presence and energy in the Vitality Roses playing group has undoubtedly helped take our national game to new heights on the world stage.  

“As an athlete, a role model and ambassador for the game Serena has inspired a whole generation of netballers of all ages to play and follow our sport. 

“As we all wish Serena well for her next personal chapter, I know the Netball Family will share in celebrating her happy news, congratulating her on her incredible career and thanking her for her significant contribution to our game.” 

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