‘Incredible’ netball coach wins prestigious award

Simone Gould (second from right) has won a prestigious accolade from Wales Netball

Fantastic news for North Wales netball – one of our leading coaches has won a prestigious award.

Wales Netball’s Volunteer of the Month for November is awarded to Simone Gould, described as “an incredible coach committed to the development of the sport in North West Wales”.

Here is what Wales Netball had to say about Simone, who is currently in Isle of Man coaching the Ynys Môn squad.

Despite only residing in the area for a year, Simone has had a huge impact on the provision and delivery of netball.

Her assistance in coaching and developing both the junior and senior players at Menai Bridge Netball Club has been well appreciated.

She herself is a member of the senior Menai Bridge team – who have won the North West Wales Senior League Division 1 the last two seasons! To help further, she also umpires and umpire mentors within the League.

Another significant achievement from Simone has been her efforts in helping the newly-formed Ynys Môn Netball Team to the Invitational Island games in the Isle of Man, this November 2023.

She has continuously volunteered her time to head coach the team and help support them when raising the necessary funds needed to travel and compete.

Acknowledging Ynys Môn’s talent for netball, Simone is thrilled for the players to compete in a high-performance environment and feels privileged to accompany them on their journey.

One of Simone’s finest accomplishments to date is her appointment as head coach of the Bangor University Regional Academy from September 2022.

Since then, the Academy has doubled in size, and now has 54 girls split between two squads at U15 and U17.

Simone (front) with her joyful Ynys Môn playing squad and coaching team

Last season, their ‘Lightning’ team landed their position in the final of the Regional Academy Tournament – which took place as a curtain raiser match for the Welsh Feathers’ game against Scottish Thistles as they prepared for the World Cup, a definite highlight of their year!

Cara Roberts, the Academy’s assistant-coach, notes that the number of junior players from the North West who improved over the course of the previous season is what they are both most proud of – which is reflected in the number of net-ballers they put forward for National Academy trials.

Of these, Efa Dwyfor-Clark, Hanna Jones and Amalie Jones have made the U15 National Academy, Lacey Williams the U17 National Academy and Beca Parry the U19 National Academy.

Simone is not only present for her players, but also the team around her.

Cara Roberts said: “It’s a privilege to be her assistant as she is invested in my development as a young coach and really wants to see me succeed…, I’ll forever be grateful for her mentorship as I’ve learnt an incredible amount from working alongside her in the short space of time we’ve been together.”

Simone’s approach is player-centred, and focuses on individual, unit, and team development. Demanding consistently high standards of her players with regards to their commitment, work ethic and etiquette, she is well respected by all her athletes.

Her knowledge of the game, and how to nurture the growth of young athletes is outstanding. Simone sees a vision for netball in the North West and is committed to taking on any responsibilities to bring it to life, such as umpiring, organising games and entering teams into tournaments in Manchester.

Simone is doing great things in her region for the support and development of netball. Thank you, Simone, for all of your hard work in the past, at present, and in the future!

Wales Netball’s Volunteers of the Month will be announced at the beginning of every month, with an article going on its website and posts going out across all social media channels.
If you would like to nominate your coach, an umpire, or someone who helps your netball club and the wider community, complete the nomination form using this link – https://forms.gle/fREqFRkPFyHnoPRn6

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