Ahead of her 10th year as a MasterClass netball coach, we spoke to Michelle Cox about why she's dedicated her life to the sport and what the future holds for this 'everyday sporting hero'...
You’ve been playing Netball since you were 11 years old, what is it about the sport which has kept you involved for so long?
I would have to say that meeting so many new people, especally new netball coaches, is what has kept me in the game for so many years. I love travelling too, so going away for competitions etc., has allowed me to visit other parts of the UK and European cities which I may never have visited if not for my involvement with the sport.
How long have you been coaching at MasterClass for and how did you first get involved?
I have been working with MasterClass for almost a decade now. My initial involvement was when the company was called Set Tours back in 2007. I started out as an umpire, and have since evolved my involvement to become a lead coach across their flagship netball tours in Spain and Holland. I would have to say that it doesn't feel like work at all, the coaching team are so friendly, that its such a pleasure returning every year.
What would you say the best 3 aspects are of a MasterClass sports tour is, for the students and the coaches?
- Meeting new coaches and teachers, and working together to make improvements to the tour each year;
- Seeing the students progress and develop their Netball skills on the tour. The students are so grateful for the experience, and they have so much fun too, it never tires being thanked for our efforts;
- Developing coaches on the tour, and imparting my knowledge and expertise on them. This helps to build a good team of coaches that come back year after year because they have enjoyed previous tours and feel they have also developed as coaches.
If you could choose one destination to visit on a netball tour where would it be and why?
I would choose Barbados because that is where my family is from. Barbados is a lovely place to play various sports as well as enjoy the sun and sea.
Given the recent advances in professional netball, with the national team going full-time and the broadcasting deal with Sky Sports, where do you see the sport progressing to 5 years from now?
I see the sport developing into a more professional sport for woman. This is great news because schools and clubs will see an increase in girls playing Netball. Developing Netball will bring more coaches, umpires and volunteers into the sport, as well as increasing participation and aiding retention.
Read the full 'Everyday Heroes' feature on Sports Coach UK