Barbara Brown - Lifetime Achievement Award

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DRIVE, determination and a sheer commitment to her beloved sport of netball.

These reasons and more helped Barbara Brown to become an award winner and she admitted: “It is a surprise but it is great for the club.”

Barbara Brown of Oaksway Netball Club shown receiving the Lifetime Achievement award from Danny Evans on behalf of sponsors the Hartlepool Mail and the Elite Development Squad.

Barbara Brown of Oaksway Netball Club shown receiving the Lifetime Achievement award from Danny Evans on behalf of sponsors the Hartlepool Mail and the Elite Development Squad.

Barbara set up the Oaksway Netball Club in Hartlepool more than 40 years ago and has dedicated most of her life to developing children in the sport.

She said: “We cater for everyone from the social player to people who want to excel. We push them into the English set-up and we have had lots of girls in the England team.

“We get people to the best level we can develop them to.”

Barbara said part of the success of the netball club was the work done within schools to promote the sport.

Judges said Barbara had a gift at spotting talent and being able to get the best out of players. She has developed a structure in Hartlepool that makes it the hub for netball in the Tees Valley, they added.

They praised her commitment to South Durham and Cleveland netball and added: “Barbara has achieved so much and continues to do so, She leads others to also contribute to Oaksway Netball Club which will leave a lasting legacy for many years to come.”

Just as remarkable is her commitment to do all of this while she is an unpaid volunteer.

Also shortlisted:

Tony and Kath Evans.