Razia Quashie, Amy Carter and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis have been named as 2019 TASS Stars Awards finalists in recognition of their achievements in sport and study in the past year.
Fifteen TASS-supported athletes from a range of sports have been shortlisted from scores of nominations outlining the athletes’ accomplishments both on and off the court.
Nominations were made across five categories designed to celebrate the attributes of a dual career athlete: Most Determined, Most Inspirational, Most Committed, Most Potential and Athlete of the Year.
Netball is represented in force in the Athlete of the Year category, with two Futures players, Carter and Quashie, in contention.
Quashie has really grown this season as a player. She has developed not only her athletic power, but her game sense and ability to win ball from the opponents in key moments of the game. This earned her a tour to Jamaica with the Vitality Roses, where she won her first senior cap.
She has also had to juggle studying in her final year with committing to the Futures programme and working much of the time in the Roses programme.
Quashie also secured herself a first team place at Saracens Mavericks as GK and had a strong season for them. She was shortlisted for Sky Sports Fans’ Player of the Season Award and was named Players’ Player of the Season at Mavericks.
Carter has successfully combined studying medicine at the University of Manchester with her playing commitments, which included representing Manchester Thunder who sealed the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague title.
She travelled to Australia with the Vitality Roses’ Fast5 squad during term time and had to balance and manage her studies around this tour. She also played a large number of England A games against teams in the top six in the world rankings and was impressive in her performances.
She has developed her game understanding over the last season and has become an excellent mid-court player, offering a high standard of play in both the C and WD positions.
Meanwhile, Drakeford-Lewis is in the running in the Most Committed category.
Drakeford-Lewis has developed professional behaviours in relation to her netball and studies and is thriving in both environments, studying an Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering degree whilst training and playing.
She has developed her GA position at Vitality Netball Superleague level this season such that she has been first choice with Team Bath Netball for the whole season. As a result of her strong VNSL performances, she was named Young Player of the Season.
She has broken into the senior elite ranks after winning her first senior cap at Netball Europe in 2017 and has performed consistently well. She has also adapted a second position at WA which she played for England A this year, when senior Vitality Roses shooters were in the squad.
An independent panel of judges including triple jump world record holder, Jonathan Edwards, Olympic medallist Samantha Murray and 2018 Star of the Year winner, Maria Tsaptsinos, have now been tasked with determining the five winners.
All fifteen finalists are invited to join senior representatives from the TASS network to celebrate their achievements at the TASS 15thAnniversary Reception on Wednesday 26 June where the winners will be revealed and presented with a TASS Stars Awards prize.