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Elizabeth Brown - Level 2 Netball volunteer Coach

I am currently a volunteer Netball coach for Beacon Netball Club, based in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside. I coach at the club 2 hours per week, and coach/ umpire the C Team and junior teams along with my fellow coaches.

What’s your coaching/volunteer role?I am currently a volunteer Netball coach for Beacon Netball Club, based in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside. Our club currently has an U12 and U14 junior team, and 3 senior teams. I coach at the club 2 hours per week, and coach/ umpire the C Team and junior teams along with my fellow coaches.

Tell us about your background Originally playing county squash as a junior, I found the love for netball at secondary school and played up to county level and in the talent performance pathway. At 16 I completed the Junior Sports Leaders Award followed by Millennium Volunteers Award and my Level 1 netball coaching award. I then went on to complete my level 2 and Umpiring C Award.These qualifications allowed me to volunteer within beacon netball club and umpiring for the T & W senior leagues. I took the opportunity to volunteer at many netball events meeting new people and building my experiences. I graduated Northumbria University 2010 with a degree in Sports Development with Coaching and playing Netball for Team Northumbria 2nd Team. After university I travelled to america, completing two summers coaching camps in Florida with camp america, making amazing memories and finding the love for travelling. In 2017 I have qualified as a PE Teacher and now take the lead in netball coaching in schools as well as continuing to volunteer coach, umpire and play in several different leagues. 

Best thing about being a coach/volunteer? Volunteering in sport, allows me to give back to the community and sporting world experiences and opportunities I was given as a Junior. Providing 1 hour of coaching per week to young people, increases the chances of lifelong participation in sport, which develops many life skills and benefits. Knowing participants attend every week makes me appreciate my volunteering time each week. Seeing my participants succeed, gives me an exciting feeling, hoping they will strive even further and want to achieve even more in their sport. 

Who’s your role model or inspiration? I am inspired by many of the Pro performers in my sport. Through my own volunteering in netball, I was coaching alongside England goal shooter Rachel Dunn. This inspired me and pushed me to work harder in my coaching. For my own game and to improve my knowledge, I try to watch all of the England Netball games to get new ideas or warm up drills for my club.

Have you faced or overcome any barriers in relation to your coaching? My parents have been very supportive of my sporting background, paying for some of my coaching qualifications at a young age, and driving me to all of my coaching/ games until I was able to do this myself. Coaching/ Volunteering from a young age, has not allowed many barriers to get in my way. However as time passes and I get older, I may face some barriers that may limit my free time for coaching/ volunteering.

Advice to other coaches/volunteers looking to get started I always think to myself- What else would I be doing with my nights if I was not coaching, umpiring or playing netball? This is the same for all sports- it may look like it is a lot of time taken up, but what else would you be doing. I bet it will not get you new friends, new skills, improved well being, excellent life skills, amazing confidence, unimaginable experiences and the appreciation from all participants saying ‘Thank You’ at the end of coaching sessions for your time given up each week.