World Netball highlights the importance of working collaboratively with those that live and breathe netball every day in order to develop the sport.
The Voice of the Athlete Working Group will begin this process by working together throughout 2021 to determine a suitable framework for future Athletes Commissions, which will be established following recommendations by the Working Group to the World Netball Board.
The Working Group consists of current international athletes with at least 3-years’ international playing experience and has been endorsed by their Member/Regional Federation or Executive Board. The athletes have been selected to ensure representation across the 5 World Netball Regions across teams ranked 1-5, 6-20, and 21+.
Find out about the Athletes who have joined the Working Group below.
The Working Group will meet up to 4 times in 2021 and recommendations will be made to the World Netball Board by the end of the year.
Read the press release on the Working Group here.
|Aqilah Andin||Singapore||Aqilah Adin started playing netball the age of 11 and fell in love with it straight away. At 16-years-old, she then joined the Singapore national team, and became the youngest player to ever be selected for them.
Andin said: “The journey has never been easy but the beauty about it being a team sport is that we have teammates to support each other!”
|Auteletoa Tanimo||Samoa||Auteletoa Tanimo is from Samoa in the villages of Pata Falelatai and Samalaeulu, Savaii. She made her debut for Netball Samoa in 2014 and competed in her first Netball World Cup in Sydney 2015. She has also competed in the Pacific Nations Cup, Six Nations Cup, Oceania tri-series and other Pacific Games Tournaments throughout the years. Most recently Tanimo competed in her second Netball World Cup in Liverpool 2019. On top of all this, Tanimo also works as a PE teacher.
Tanimo said: “I am excited to be working with this group and look forward to seeing what we can do to help netball all over the world.”
|Bryony Rovego||Gibraltar||Bryony Rovego was born and raised in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on the southern tip of Spain. Rovego was introduced to netball in middle school nearly 30 years ago, by a teacher who is still her coach now at the Gibraltar National team. She has competed in many international competitions, mainly in Netball Europe, and was fortunate enough to be part of the squad when Gibraltar was ranked in the World Rankings.
Outside of netball, Rovego works for a company that exports Toyota vehicles to humanitarian organisations such as the United Nations (UNICEF), mainly to developing countries in Africa, and enjoys travelling and spending time with her family and friends.
Rovego said: "I want everyone to have bigger and better opportunities moving forward as the world of netball continues to grow.”
|Emily Nicholl||Scotland||Emily Nicholl is 27 years old and works full time as a recruitment solicitor as well as playing netball for the Scottish franchise, Strathclyde Sirens, in the UK’s domestic Vitality Netball Superleague. Nicholl plays Goal Defence and got her first cap for the Scottish Thistles in 2016. Since then, she has gone on to represent Scotland in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 World Cup.
Nicholl said: “I am delighted to be a part of the first World Netball Voice of the Athlete Working Group. To have the opportunity to contribute to and shape the future of netball is a real privilege and I can’t wait to get started.”
|Francinah Eyman||Botswana||Francinah Eyman started playing netball at the age of 13 as a defender. Her netball breakthrough came in 2009, when she was at secondary school and got the opportunity to play for her local club. Since then, Eyman has played in most of the junior national team structures; her most memorable being the Netball World Youth Cup in 2009 in Cook Islands. She then rose through the ranks to the senior national team, and since 2019 has been the Botswana Senior National Netball Team captain. On top of this, the defender is also chairperson of the Botswana Netball Association Interim Athletes Commission, where they have been developing a working model and terms of reference for the commission.
Eyman is passionate about empowering athletes and is one of the founders of a network called Botswana Youth in Sport where she has several speaking opportunities tapping on her exposure to sport and issues impacting athletes. Additionally, she is also a member of the Botswana Sport Heroes Mentorship where she helps up and coming athletes.
Away from the netball, Eyman has also been successful having graduated from The University of Botswana with a degree in Project and Logistics Management. After graduating she then started working in sport administration space in 2014, where she realised her passion for managing sport events and projects and using sport for development and peace.
|Katrina Rore||New Zealand||Katrina Rore made her international debut for New Zealand in 2008, against Australia as goal defence. Since then, Rore has been to three Commonwealth Games and three World Championships and received 137 international caps so far. Throughout her career the defender has had many highlights playing for her country including winning the Netball World Youth Cup in 2005, the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi and the Netball World Cup 2019 in Liverpool. In her domestic netball, Rore has also won the New Zealand ANZ Premiership with Central Pulse and the Australian Suncorp Super Netball league with New South Wales Swifts. Rore is currently on maternity leave after having her first child, Lilybud Rore, in May 2021.|
|Liz Watson||Australia||Liz Watson was born in Melbourne, Australia and has played following the Netball Victoria pathway. Watson made her debut for her ‘dream team’, The Melbourne Vixens, in 2014 and has been a member of the team ever since. She has also been a member of the Australian Diamonds since 2015 competing in various major events, including the Commonwealth Games and World Cup, and various Constellations cups and Quad series. During her time with the Diamonds and the Vixens, Watson took up various leadership roles and she is now looking forward to continuing to work with both teams, whilst also working as a PE teacher.
Watson said: “I am honoured and grateful for all the opportunities that netball has given me, and I am excited to be involved with such a special group at World Netball.”
|Malysha Kelly||Jamaica||Malysha Kelly has over 60 caps for her national team, Jamaica, and currently plays for Severn Stars in the Vitality Netball Superleague in the UK. She is also a brand ambassador for Gilbert Netball UK. Away from the netball court, Kelly has been just as successful achieving a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Sociology, and a Masters in Business Management and Marketing at the University of the West Indies Mona.|
|Sam Wallace||Trinidad & Tobago||Samantha Wallace made her debut for Trinidad and Tobago in 2008, and since then has been involved in the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 2015 Sydney World Cup and most recently the 2019 Liverpool World Cup where she was Vice-Captain of her side. Following her World Cup debut, in 2016 Wallace started playing her club netball for Hertfordshire Mavericks in the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL). In her first VNSL season she was voted the Most Valued Player (MVP) in the league, and of her club and was awarded the Maverick’s Coaches Award. The goal shooter then joined New South Wales Swifts, in the Suncorp Super Netball league (SSN) Australia, in 2017, where she still plays her netball now. Since joining NSW Swifts Wallace has been voted the Most Valued Player twice, in successive years, and won the SSN Championship with her teammates in 2019. Off the court, Wallace is an Ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House in Sydney.|
|Stacey Francis-Bayman||England||Stacey Francis-Bayman has been on the international netball scene since she made her debut for the Vitality Roses in 2010. With 73 caps to her name, she has also won two Vitality Netball World Cup bronze medals as well as bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Francis-Bayman joined Team Bath in 2005, as a 16-year-old, has since then been a part of every Team Bath Superleague title-winning side (2006, 2007, 2009,2010, 2013). Stacey was Team Bath’s longest serving player, and because of this she was inducted into the University of Bath Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. Since 2017, she has played for West Coast Fever in the Suncorp Super Netball League in Australia. Stacey is also a Pride House Birmingham ambassador, vice-chair on the UK Netball Players Association as well as newly appointed to the board of trustees for the Switch the Play Foundation.|