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Winners Crowned at The Co-operative Netball Superleague Player of the Year Awards
Elite netballers from across the country gathered in Birmingham last night (Friday April 17) to celebrate at The Co-operative Netball Superleague's Player of the Year Awards.
Players, coaches, sponsors, officials and volunteers from The Co-operative Netball Superleague sat down to a special dinner, hosted by England Netball and supported by Birmingham City Council, at the city's International Convention Centre before the winners were announced.
The Lucozade Sport Chairman's Award; won by Captain Karen Atkinson
TeamBath's captain Pamela Cookey fought off stiff competition to win the coveted Kukri Player of the Year Award for the second time, for her outstanding performance and contributions throughout the season. Pamela, currently in New Zealand competing in the ANZ Championships with five of England's top class players, thanked everyone for her award in a pre-recorded interview.
She said: "Thank you all so much for this award but I can't take all the credit and would like to say a special thanks to my team mates and strength conditioning coaches at TeamBath.
Mavericks' Ella Clark was announced as the season's best newcomer and took home The Playface Rookie of the Year Award
"It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have played for TeamBath and England this year and I feel incredibly proud to have been chosen for this award."
The north west's franchise Northern Thunder took home The Co-operative Community Award, for making a difference in their community, helping and encouraging those less fortunate to grow and develop in the sport of netball.
Liz Matkin, Head of Sponsorship at The Co-operative, said: "Northern Thunder has set up a regular format for netball camps across the north west, which attracts over 120 youngsters at each holiday camp throughout the school holidays.
"The franchise works closely with counties throughout their region to deliver academy sessions to a variety of age groups. The team has also had great crowds this year with local supporters attending the games week in week out because of the fantastic rapport shown with players and the young fans. This has all been achieved this year."
The Birmingham City Council Player's Player of the Year Award, was awarded to Loughborough Lightning's Jade Clarke for giving her all to her Superleague team and offering constant support and encouragement to her squad.
Mavericks' Ella Clark was announced as the season's best newcomer and took home The Playface Rookie of the Year Award for her efforts and commitment to her team in her first season.
A new addition to the awards was The Lucozade Sport Chairman's Award; won by Mavericks captain Karen Atkinson.
The Co-operative Netball Superleague Player of the Year Dinner also celebrated people involved in the Superleague by dedicating awards to coaches, umpires and volunteers. Glasgow Wildcats' coach Denise Holland scooped the Televideo Coach of the Year Award, Tracy Smith was awarded the England Netball Umpire of the Year Award and TeamBath's Liz Bloor walked away with the Netball Pod Volunteer of the Year Award.
Mike Osborne, Senior Sports Events Manager at Birmingham City Council, said: "This is the second year we have hosted The Co-operative Netball Superleague Player of the Year Awards and we are proud to have such a strong association with netball. The speed and skill that is required to play at this elite level is phenomenal.
"We are aspiring to, at some stage in the near future, have a team represent Birmingham in The Co-operative Netball Superleague. It has been a fantastic evening and I'd like to congratulate all the award winners and England Netball for bringing such a fantastic event to the city."
Paul Clark, CEO of England Netball, said: "It has been a thrilling season and tonight has been a celebration and an opportunity to thank those who have contributed to making it such a success.
"The awards recognise the people who have gone out of their way to help raise netball's profile. Well done to all the winners."