I am the Head Coach for the seniors at Hawks Netball Club. I am also a player for the club and have been a member of Hawks since 2004. I have been involved in the coaching of the club since 2011 when I qualified as an Assistant Coach.
I gained my Level 2 in Coaching in 2013 and in 2014 I was asked to be Head Coach for the club. I also coach away from the club with County Sports Partnership. I really enjoy coaching and seeing people grow their skills and develop their confidence. My personal approach is not to be afraid to try as failure provides us with the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.
2020 has brought unprecedented to both Hawks as a netball club and the wider netball community. As we navigate the challenges, I put my time off court to good use and have gained the UK Coaching Duty to Care badge. The program has been developed as a series of Knowledge Checks and coach learning resources set across the five distinct pillars that represent the Duty to Care ethos: Safeguarding, Inclusion, Diversity, Well-being and Mental Health.
I, like UK Coaching believe that great coaching is beyond just the technical and tactical elements that make up the playing of a sport. It’s about the person-centred experience, i.e a coach-participant relationship that is positive, motivational, caring and rewarding. This attitude and ethos is something we aim to promote across the club both at training and in competitive matches.
Our club has gone through many changes in recent years, with players retiring, moving away and Covid-19 we found the club very low on numbers and needing a bit of an overhaul to bring it in line with the needs of existing members and those that we were looking to attract to the club. We had a big rebrand, and put a lot of time and effort into making the club a welcoming and supportive environment for women in our local area while still maintaining a competitive and sporting environment. For the 2023/2024 season we have registered 42 players over 5 teams and still have more looking to join, which is a long way from where we had found ourselves, and an achievement we are extremely proud of. This however brings with it the new challenge of maintaining a high level of coaching and support for all players, and translating this into a strong performance in the leagues.
Having played netball most of my life and gaining coaching qualifications for community and junior sports coaching, I had spectated, provided feedback and informally coached for some time but in 2023 I decided to push this one step further by gaining my Level 1 Netball coaching qualification with England Netball. It has been a really rewarding and valuable course which has expanding my knowledge and skills. I look forward to putting back into the club for the 2023/2024 season when I will be supporting Becky at weekly training, running specialist coaching sessions and coaching our Hawks 3 team on match days, as well as playing myself for Hawks 1. The future looks extremely bright for the club and I cant wait to be a part of it!
As one of the founders of the Hawks Netball Club, Helen continues to spread her passion for Netball. With many year of experience she has also held county roles of Academies & Performance Officer and Schools Liaison Officer for the Cambridgeshire County Netball Association, seen her junior team qualify for the National Schools Netball Championships and as a Country Academy Coach also coaches Cambridge University’s Blue and Jays.