We come to our final week of profiles on shortlisted nominees for the 2019 Sleaford Town Awards.
In the Coach of the Year category we have three nominees, Steph Osborn of Big Jumps Trampoline Club who we have already profiled in a previous edition, Russell Smith of Carre’s basketball team and a posthumous nomination for Mandy Hall, of Sleaford, who died in February, aged 56.
Mandy began playing netball for the NAAFI while living in Germany in 1982 in her favourite position of Goal Shooter, she joined other clubs over there where she coached, umpired and played before moving to Sleaford in 1997 and joining Sleaford Netball Club where she still played, umpired and coached and daughter Carly began playing too.
In 2003 alongside her sister Michelle, Mandy started up the Barge and Bottle Netball Club in Sleaford, which grew and grew, winning Lincolnshire’s Community Club of the Year and also gained silver accreditation from England Netball.
In 2011 Sleaford Ladies and the Barge and Bottle Netball Club merged where Mandy was chairman and head coach over the years. In 2013, she won the Netball Goalden Globes awards for the East Midlands and the club secured a place in the Regional League where Mandy enjoyed coaching and in 2015 won the Division Two title.
Mandy was also involved in developing netball within Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, was an academy coach for seven seasons and involved in county and regional screening as well as nurturing talent and volunteers.
Mandy was famous for her yearly netball tournaments in September, attracting clubs and teams from far and wide.
Later she coached the Sleaford Back to Netball team, which became Sleaford Storm, designed to get girls into sport for fun and exercise, coaching them to their first county win before she died.
○ A passion for basketball has earned Carre’s Grammar School PE teacher Russell Smith a place on the nominations shortlist for the Coach of the Year and teacher of the Year awards in the 2019 Sleaford Town Awards.
Russell was named ‘East Midlands Basketball School Teacher of the Year’ for 2018 by Basketball England, and named on a shortlist of three for the national award for his work as a basketball ambassador within Carre’s Grammar School and the community, in both school and his own time.
Russell runs the basketball teams at Carre’s, organises schools county cup competitions for all age groups, and has supported teachers in other local schools to raise their expertise, while coaching the Lincolnshire junior teams at under 13s, 15s and 17s levels. carre’s are under 16 and under 18 county champions.
A school spokesman said: “Being nominated for a national award, particularly when so few of Carre’s students play outside of school, is a fantastic accomplishment and provides kudos to the developing basketball programme in school.
“This nomination is deserved recognition for the hard work that has gone into developing basketball in the school and efforts to encourage more young people to play the sport competitively.”
Russell coached the Lincolnshire team at the East Midlands under-13 regional basketball tournament last year. The Lincolnshire squad included five players from Carre’s Grammar School. Carre’s student, Archie Russell was selected into the East Midlands provisional squad.